Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Love Part I

Spiritual Lessons 

Part I

God’s love being unchangeable, He is just as loving when we do not see or feel His love…” (Havergal, 77)

Love. It is one of the most misunderstood words. Some might consider love to be a sappy, weak or feminine emotion. Others might consider it a seductive feeling, intimacy, or attraction. Lately, I’ve been learning what love is. Some might define love as a very deep, complex, beautiful action not really related to emotion at all.

I guess I began learning several Autumns ago, when I was confused, searching and needy. I’d like to share this diary entry.

October 17, 2011
I rob myself of my joy when my mind is completely consumed with other things than Him. I have lately desired marriage. That is not a bad thing. But when I am most content is when Christ is my all – then I do not experience the “need” to be courting or married. Even my dear friend in her last letter mentioned how the Lord is having to teach her joy. And she is courting! Even when our desires are fulfilled we still need Christ just as much.
I must fall in love with Christ in order to keep my yearnings at bay. I will feel accepted and loved if I allow Christ to fill my need.
I have felt slightly unappreciated lately. Not really…needed. I feel like no-one would be put out if I was gone. I know they would miss the things I do (chores) because they would have to do them, but they wouldn’t miss me, as a person. I know that is untrue, because I know I add to the family’s “make up” whether that’s a good thing or not… :) Everyone is used to me being here, so if I was gone the familiarity of my presence would most likely be missed. But would I, as a person?
For example, Dad cannot live without mom. He must have some contact with her or he suffers. She is needed. Desperately. Someone needs her. For who she is, not just what she gives. Her value is in who she is to Dad, his wife, not the fact that she does his laundry, cheerfully keeps the home, gives birth to his children, etc. He would give anything for her, even his life.
Does anyone need me? Am I important to anyone? Does anyone feel the same way about me?
At first thought, or without much thought at all, I would reply, no. Not even my parents need me. Dad’s need for love is met by Mom. Mom’s yearning for love, protection, acceptance, is met by Dad. My parents love me, but their love is not adequate for the yearning in my heart. My family loves me, but it doesn’t even come close to filling the vast void I have. The closest people given to be mine are not enough.
This is why being loved in a different way seems so attractive. The feeling that someone could possibly be attracted to you in some other way than “just a friend” is exciting. It seems they need you. Not for what I do, but for who I am. They seem to admire me, my personality. They care how I feel, what I think of them. My feelings are important. They care. I have not given a thing to them, and yet, they still like me, even want to know me better. They wouldn’t consider it a sacrifice to spend time with me, they enjoy me, I am important to them.
What a danger. And I know it is and still desire to be tempted. I am evil. So very selfish. It isn’t love that desires to take, to accept such admiration. If I loved my brothers in Christ, I would protect their hearts by treating them as brothers, giving them no ideas otherwise. It is no wonder we young adults are controlled by our emotions. They are so terribly strong.”

I then read a quote by Hannah Whittal Smith that started a chang in my heart.  I started to grasp what love really was. 

“…if you have ever loved any earthly relation; if you have ever loved any of your fellow human beings enough to find sacrifice and service on their behalf a joy; if a whole-souled abandonment of your will to the will of another has ever gleamed across you as a blessed and longed-for privilege, or as a sweet and precious reality, then by all the tender longing love of your Heavenly Lover would I entreat you to let it be so towards Christ!
He loves you with more than the love of friendship. As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so does He rejoice over you, and nothing but the bride’s surrender will satisfy Him. He has given you all, and He asks for all in return. The slightest reserve will grieve Him to the heart. He spared not Himself, and how can you spare yourself? For your sake He poured out in a lavish abandonment all that He had, and for His sake you must pour out all that you have, without stint or measure.
Oh be generous in your self-surrender! Meet His measureless devotion for you with a measureless devotion to Him. Be glad and eager to throw yourself unreservedly into His loving arms, and to hand over the reins of government to Him. Whatever there is of you, let Him have it all. Give up forever everything that is separate from Him. Consent to resign, from this time forward, all liberty of choice, and glory in the blessed nearness of union which makes the enthusiasm of devotedness not only possible but necessary.”(Smith 218-219)

Here is what I wrote afterward -- 

“Someone does love me enough to adequately fill my heart’s yearning. Someone does want me. Someone loves me not for what I do, say, or look like; but loves me unselfishly, as a person. Someone cares to the utmost what I think, how I feel, what emotions I own. Someone cares! I have not given Him one thing that He did not already have. I haven’t given this Someone anything, and yet He still loves me. He would stop whatever to hear me. He wants to listen. I am important to Him. He would do anything for me…even if it was to suffer and die for me. Jesus. He is the only one capable of truly loving me. He never tires of me. He is more than enough to satisfy my need for love. He makes human love seem small compared. Someone loves me. I am needed, or He wouldn’t have created me. Why compromise my purity for a lowly “love” when I could have the best?
I would find His love satisfactory if I would accept it. I actually have to listen, spend time with Him, or then He doesn’t have the chance to demonstrate His love. Nothing, not even my knowing better, constrains my desire for love… I’ll still look in the wrong places, even when I know it’s wrong, and I’ll enjoy the sensation. The only thing that can draw me away from corrupt “love” is, (not guilt, not rules), but real love. Christ’s love. If His loves satisfies me and I love my brothers in Christ’s love, then I won’t need any other kind and will find myself truly content and in love with the right Someone. What a lover He is. I must accept Him.”

 I now realized He was calling me. He gave everything; how could I hesitate to surrender everything to Him – the All Knowing? Yet I did hesitate: I was afraid. I had surrendered before and when I gave, what happened? He took from me. Earlier I had surrendered my pride and He humbled me by allowing me to break my collar bone. I gave Him my media and He limited what I could read and watch. I gave Him my wardrobe and He took certain clothes and restricted what I could and could not wear. It felt like no-one else had to sacrifice, but because I dared to, I was left without and alone. I gave Him something and where did He lead me? To a lonely path. And all along I had just desired for someone to love me. This strict way looked nothing like my heart’s desire.

I continued to read The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life and Mrs. Smith spoke to my heart again. The Lord used this part in her book to be such a blessing. It was like He sat down on my bed and spoke directly to me through the book. Please bear with me in this lengthy quote. I hope it blesses you like it did me.

“Have you never longed to lavish your love and attentions on someone far off from you in position or circumstances, with whom you were not intimate enough for any closer approach? Have you not felt a capacity for self-surrender and devotedness that has seemed to burn within you like a fire, and yet had no object upon which it dared to lavish itself? Have not your hands been full of “alabaster boxes of ointment very precious,” which you have never been near enough to any heart to pour out? If, then, you are hearing the lovely voice of your Lord calling you out into a place of nearness to Himself that will require a separation from all else, and that will make an enthusiasm of devotedness not only possible but necessary, will you shrink or hesitate? Will you think it hard that He reveals to you more of His mind than He does to others, and that He will not allow you to be happy in anything that separates you from Himself? Do you want to go where He cannot go with you, or to have pursuits which He cannot share?
No! no, a thousand times no! You will spring out to meet His lovely will with an eager joy. Even His slightest wish will become a binding law to you that it would fairly break your heart to disobey. You will glory in the very narrowness of the path He asks out for you, and will not pity, with an infinite pity, the poor far-off ones who have missed this precious joy. The obligations of love will be to you its sweetest privileges; and the right you have acquired to lavish the uttermost wealth of abandonment of all that you have upon your Lord will seem to lift you into a region of unspeakable glory. The perfect happiness of perfect obedience will dawn upon your soul, and you will begin to know something of what Jesus meant when He said, “I delight to do thy will, O my God.” (Smith 219-220)

I actually cried when I read it. It was exactly what I was dealing with and it was so close to my heart. So often I had feelings of where I wanted to pour out the love I had…and I had no-one who would take it seriously. Ah, but my God was calling me. He drew me near Himself and called. 

Then this thought crossed my mind. He fulfills my need to be loved, for He loves me. I do not have to yearn for someone to fill that void in my heart, that need to be loved. He does! He loves me! But then this thought also – He fulfills my need to be needed. I yearn for someone to need me. Not only do I want to receive love, but I want to give love. I want someone to need my love to be given. It makes sense to me that I need Him, but for Him to need me seems almost foolish. I was overwhelmed what I read next:

But do you think the joy in this will be all on your side? Has the Lord no joy in those who have thus surrendered themselves to Him, and who love to obey Him? Ah, my friends, we are not able to understand this; but surely Scriptures reveal to us glimpses of the delight, the satisfaction, the joy our Lord has in us, which rejoice our soul with their marvelous suggestions of blessedness. That we should need Him is easy to comprehend; but that He should need us seems incomprehensible. That our desire should be toward Him is a matter of course; but that His desire should be toward us passes the bounds of human belief. And yet He says it, and what can we do but believe Him?” (Smith 120)

Isn’t that beautiful? To know that He desires me? He made my heart capable of such love and then offered Himself as the object of it!
God has created in me the desire to be loved and to give love. And He offers Himself as the Lover and the Lovable. What better person could we want to love us? What better person could we bestow love on?
To think, He, the God of our very being kneels down, takes my hand in His and quietly asks me, His own already, “Will you have me, would you allow me to be your Beloved?”

How could I refuse? How could I deem anyone more precious? He knows how to perfectly love; he would never fail or forsake me. He has proven faithful as Savior; why not trust Him with all my heart as Lover? Yet, He will not force Himself on me, I must choose; for forced love is not love at all. This love is not only available to me, but to all of His children.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Love, An Introduction

Spiritual Lessons 

~ An Introduction ~ 

I would like to do a small series of posts on the subject Love. Such a little word for such an endless topic. Possibly because love is not just a sentiment but a Person. An infinite Person.

My most recent lesson I have learned about love is that love makes me vulnerable.

I have always been a “people person”. People intrigue me, and I naturally am drawn to them. I have always made friends fairly easily, and people's good traits have always been clear and obvious to me.

Yet, people are undeniably human! Novel, I know. But over and over through my growing up years, I have become disappointed in those I thought I knew so well and loved so much. It left me feeling naïve, childish, gullible and taken advantage of. I would eventually move on and make more friends and then inevitably be hurt once more.

This led me to be more careful in who I allowed to become close to me. And yet these selective people, because they were so special, now hurt me even more when they did the unthinkable: sin.

What pain to realize that someone you thought so highly of is capable of something so petty. How hard to accept that someone you cherish is so immature. How shocking to be stabbed in the back by someone you would have sacrificed everything for. Their good traits were so real, and then suddenly it all comes crashing down. So often I had heard criticism toward them but I grew defensive for them, only to have it proven true later on.

Not once or twice but multiple times this has happened to me. And what have I learned?

There are two methods on how to deal with this inevitable problem.

One --  you can shut out every person from becoming close to you. I know this sounds pathetic, but it is easier to do than one might think. You can even subconsciously bar people from getting close. This is an effective protection. Unfortunately, this also bars you from loving. Love bears all things. It sacrifices itself to vulnerability so it can reach and be reached. No bars. Jesus subjected His Spirit, and His name to be taken on by us. There is a possibility for us to drag Him through the mud of sin. How grievous to a Holy God. And yet He took the risk because He loves us. With love comes a cost – vulnerability.

We can protect ourselves by building walls and by severing ties, but we will not heal. We will become bitter. Bitterness is a grotesque disease that eats away at our souls. Bitterness does not bring peace. It does not make our wound known to others. It does not make others sympathize with us. 
When we start to reject love, when we stop communicating, when we can no longer make eye-contact with someone, when they say something loving and it is repulsive to us...we are bitter. We have built walls. We are becoming self-destructive. I know that it can take hold of anyone's heart. Age and spiritual status have no bearing on bitterness. It can take hold of you. In the smallest of ways. It is a parasite. Don't willingly become a victim. You will be destroyed.

Two -- we can choose to love anyway. To be vulnerable no matter the risk of pain. I'd like to add here that just because the criticism is correct in the person you thought so highly of, doesn't mean all of the good traits you originally saw are now null and void. The good you saw in them was Christ or a Christ-given personality that is still just as real now as it was then. But just like you, they have an old nature that they allow to reign sometimes. Seeing the positive first is not a weakness. It's a gift. This is how Jesus sees them too! 

 But the lesson to learn is to realize that even good people have the ability to hurt you; no matter how dear a friend or sweet a sibling or good an authority. In fact, the closer you get to them the more likely it is for them to hurt you. If a random stranger came up to me and said, “You know, I really think you are a good-for-nothing and I don't want to be your friend.” I'd be pretty shocked and maybe even affronted, but certainly not crushed like I would if my best friend came to me saying the same thing.

I don't think Jesus intended for every human being to be your best friend. Best friends that you can share your whole heart with are far and few between. But He had compassion for the crowds. He saw them as individuals. He loved them enough to sacrifice His dearest for their best. This is love, and with Love living inside of us, I believe He does intend for us to love the world and share Love with them. Is it worth it? Definitely! Is it costly? Absolutely. But Jesus has showed me that embracing people, no matter how sharp a sword they may be, is so sweet and even healthy and, believe it or not, addicting and enjoyable. Bitterness and bars are only hurtful and lonely.

In my next post I hope to share the beginnings of my discovery of this complex yet amazing concept of Love.

Friday, December 26, 2014


Spiritual Lessons 


A Maid Arise Reader asked that I might do a post on the subject of faith.

They asked –

“I have talked to several people of different faiths and find that most people have different concepts of Faith and there seems to be a substantial amount of controversy about the relationship between Faith and Works. What is your take on that subject? In your mind what is the effect that each one has on our salvation? I am interested in hearing your opinion.”

What is Faith?

Firstly there is the definition of Faith.

The Bible says: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Websters dictionary says: Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity without evidence; the judgment of what another states or testifies is the truth.

Who has Faith?

Everyone has faith in something. The Christian believes in Christ (Heb. 11:6), the Muslim in Allah, the Atheist in himself. Even the devils believe and tremble. (James 2:19).

What is Faith needed for?

We are told in the Bible that God has set forth Jesus Christ as our propitiation to all those that believe through faith in his blood for the remission of sins. (Romans 3:20-25)

Why do we need a propitiation? Because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). All of mankind has sinned at least once in his life. For example, if we have ever stolen something (despite it's value) or lied to someone, or looked to lust after someone, we have committed a sin. We are a thief or a liar or an adulterer of the heart. It only takes one sin to become a sinner.

Because of this great need we are without hope in ourselves. Yet God so loved us that – “he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

That is what faith is for. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:28

How does Faith work?

True faith works. The Bible asks why Chrisitans would notice a brother or sister destitute and tell them “ ye warmed and filled” and yet they would not give them any clothes or food?

“Even so, faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:17

You definitely could not have faith without works. Works is faith's evidence.  We do not work to have faith, but if we have faith then works will be a result.

Why so many different opinions of Faith?

How many faiths or religions or beliefs are there in the world? It would seem almost impossible to count and yet with our handy modern technology Google states there are roughly 4,200. This easily leads to frustration and confusion. Maybe this is why so many today are trying to say they are all the same and we are all going to the same place as long as we just believe.

That would be extremely convenient, but it doesn't make any sense. All of these faiths differ widely in their beliefs and some are completely opposed in belief.

In actuality you can categorize every faith into two basic sections.

The DO and the DONE.

Most people agree there is some sort of creator and spiritual world of some kind. But how we reach this God and get to Heaven is really what separates these faiths.

Firstly there are the DO faiths.

Their main message centers around what you must DO to get to Heaven. The general agreement is that mankind must DO something to gain God's acceptance. They expect God to accept them if they DO good things for the wrong they have done.

Really the list of DO's varys widely from faith to faith but the message always boils down to this: DO. DO the right stuff and don't DO the wrong stuff. Sometime the Do list is long and tedious. Other times it's more general – be nice, compensate the bad with matching it with good. Either way the message is a working of DO. Performance, appeasing, earning. It is a faith system that holds millions of religious people in bondage and fear and keeps them jumping through hoops. God is the taskmaster and human beings are the slave DO-ers. The saddest part about these faiths is the fact that they keep the heart wondering if they have been DO-ing enough and leaves them with anxious doubts.

What these people are missing is the message of the Bible. In order to accept the DO message these faiths have to ignore what God has said in His word.

God says –

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to his mercy he saved us.” (Titus 3:5)

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight...” (Romans 3:20)

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)

God says that salvation is “not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works...”

What does this mean? It simply means that there isn't anything we can DO to win favor from God into His presence.

Secondly there is the DONE faith.

Done means finished, complete, full, ended, ready, accomplished, fulfilled, perfected. The true message in the Bible is DONE. Our restoration with him has already been DONE!

When Jesus died on the cross he said “it is finished” (John 19:30). What seperated man from God was removed when God's Son died on the cross. DONE means there is nothing more to DO. The price was paid, the debt forgiven. DO-ing is a waste of time.

God's salvation is a gift to mankind that He already paid for. To work for a gift is silly when He is offering it to us freely. It's sitting right there in the open, He is ready for us to simply accept it.

Most people I talk to believe they are headed for “the good place” or heaven. But when I ask them why their answer is because they have tried to be a good person and are doing good things. They are saying – “I'm DO-ing.” They have put their faith in what they DO. They instinctively understand that they, all by themselves, are not good enough to reach Heaven. But unfortunately they have staked their faith in a DO religion that can't get them the free gift of salvation.

We by faith my accept that there is nothing good of ourselves and nothing we can DO to get to heaven.  But by faith believe that He has already DONE what we need by paying our debt on the cross.  The Bible says we do this by confessing with our mouth that we are the sinners we are and accepting Jesus' gift by simple faith.  That faith that is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

"...Our blessed Lord Himself was for our sakes crucified through weakness. There is nothing wrong in feeling weak. We are not meant to suppress all human emotions until we end up frigid as ice. ... No, we must rather allow God's Spirit to make His own use of our emotions. Of course He must be in command." (Watchman Nee)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Bosom Cross

Spiritual Lessons 

A Bosom Cross 

Oh bosom cross that clings to me
A gift I do not own
Because it was not given me
A burden on my soul

A dream, a wish, a small desire
A cross I bear each day
This is the gift I give to You
With me to have Your way

Oh bosom cross! A friend to me
Allowed to love not more
And yet allowed to love no less
This weight my constant sore

Fickle foolish sentiments
I give You every thought
and let You cut each string attached 
And guide each passion wrought

The heart besieged a feeling norm
Guarding -- familiar steps
I've laid so many crosses down
Yet this one I have kept

Kept because inevitable 
I can't resolve to be
Any different than feelings led
My blinded heart to see

Capture every thought my Lord!
And if in future mine
Please let me love this bosom cross
But only in Your time

Embracing Jesus as my strength 
He gives me grace to bear
He to dictate every feeling
He to steal my fears

I will accept this bosom cross
So I will cling to You
And let You carry this hard weight 
I'll wait for You to move

Oh bosom cross that clings to me
Although it not my own
Because He laid it down on me
A blessing to my soul


Thursday, December 18, 2014


Defending Yourself

I was recently asked by a Maid Arise reader to do a post on self defense. This is not a topic I have ever addressed but believe it is not only crucial, but quite relevant in my own life. I hope you might learn something from this as well.

How many times have you ever had a feeling you were being followed? Have you ever thought that maybe someone was possibly a threat to you? Were you ever “creeped out” by the guy at the gas station? Has anyone pulled up next to you in a car and you felt uncomfortable?

If you have never had any of these experiences it's not because you never were in such a situation but because you weren't aware of it. These scenarios are not uncommon. As young women we need to be alert of our surroundings.

If you have been in these circumstances what was your protocol? What did you intend to do? If any of these circumstances escalated you naturally will fall to instinct. Or, you will respond to what you have been conditioned to do (whether this is something you have been taught and have practiced, or, unfortunately, something you read on Facebook or saw in Holywood. :) )

My Experience

A year ago, on an ordinary day, I went out to do my regular jog. Half way down the driveway I realized I had left my pepper spray at the house. I really didn't want to jog back home. I knew I should but I thought I would just run to my neighbor's drive (¼ mile) and back. Nothing could possibly happen to me on such a short run.

As soon as I passed our archway I knew something wasn't right. It fact I felt a dread steal over me that instantly frightened me. It made me look over my shoulder. And there behind me, about 100 feet away, slowly making it's way through the pot holes was a silver suburban. Even though we live in the middle of no-where it is not uncommon for vehicles to travel on our dirt road. But the fear rose in my throat and though I turned calmly back to my jogging I chided myself for not getting my pepper spray. It was then I heard them speed up. Without even looking back I broke into the fastest run of my life and fled for a little road that turns into our property. I knew they had evil intentions and I knew they were coming for me.

I turned on our road with a million thoughts racing. I started to double guess myself and then I thought I heard shouting. I turned and stopped long enough to see the suburban swerve onto our property and the passenger, a man in orange with a beanie lean out of the window and yell at me in a loud commanding voice. I had no idea what he said but I took off again, with the sound of the vehicle coming after me.

What if the men got out? They were surely faster than I was. But then I knew my property. I turned left and found myself faced with a “Y” in the heavily forested part of our property. Suddenly I remembered on one of these trails was just a short path to a dead end. I panicked. Something I was so familiar with and knew so well escaped me for a moment. Which trail? This took a fraction of a second but after taking the trail I remembered being on the one that led home I wondered if my delay had caused the men to see which direction I had turned. I could still hear the suburban. My lungs burned as I took deep gulps of cold air. I wondered if I could even scream if I needed to. I looked to the forest and wondered if I should hide. But what if they found me? Why didn't I have pepper spray? Why wasn't I armed? What good would pepper spray do me against multiple men?

By the next turn I didn't hear the vehicle. I didn't care, I raced to our log cabin up the steps and into the house.

We never found the men. But the experience taught me a lot.

One, prevention is your best protection.

Two, never go out alone unprotected. Even on an ordinary day. There is protection in numbers or with men. Pepper spray is always good to have on hand, but being alone in any place away from home is not ideal.

Three, never push your instinct aside. I knew I should have my pepper spray. I pushed it aside. I felt dread and should have turned around back into my driveway if possible. We are built with an intuition that should be heeded.

Prevention is Your Best Protection

After this experience I was invited to a self-defense class by a Taekwondo instructor. I learned a few moves that would help me escape several grips, but most importantly I learned a new mindset.

If you ever feel you are being watched or sized up, the best thing to do is obviously seek companionship and be alert. But something I was taught to also do is act confidently. Predators look for weak prey. Confidence often makes us less likely to be a victim. This works on a lesser scale of playground bullies. They pick on the quiet, awkward, shy, uncertain ones. Body language is huge. Carry yourself with confidence and certainty. Don't look at the ground all the time. Speak audibly, look people in the eye, look around you, be alert.

There is the other extreme. I know several girls who are so careless and silly (even though they certainly are not quiet, awkward, shy or uncertain) that they set themselves up for prey. Often these girls actually are so flattered by male attention that they couldn't tell between a silly male or a predator.

Predators are looking for the right victim and an opportunity. Don't give them either. Prevention is your best protection. Don't act the victim part and don't give anyone the opportunity. Park under street lamps nearest the door if out at night. Carry your pepper spray somewhere handy and available and know where it is and how to use it. Watch people around you. Don't hesitate to inform others around you if you feel threatened.

If you are ever approached don't be afraid to say no. Let that person know you are uncomfortable and ask them to step away. My instructor actually simulated being a predator. He came to me as if off the street and asked if I would come with him to his car with some excuse. I said “No I would rather not”. My instructor had been telling me to be upfront and firm. Even with him telling me this I was failing to come across certain. “No, no, you don't understand I just need you to come along....” he moved in toward me, quite casually but surprisingly he covered a big distance. “No! I told you I don't want to. You are making me feel uncomfortable and I would like you to leave now.” I took a step back and placed my hands up to show I disliked his closeness. This made my “predator” back off.

Any common Joe is going to see that he is making you feel uncomfortable and will back off right away with these tell tale signs of discomfort. If he is a predator he now has to make a decision whether to come after you, or not.

Less Severe Situations

This also could apply not only on the street but at work or in subtler scenarios like at a party or at church. I have had girlfriends that have feared being impolite and never expressed their discomfort and placed themselves in compromised situations because of it. It is much better to come across as slightly impolite and be safe, than to keep etiquette but compromise your well being. It is also important to remember that more often than not, abductions, molestations or any serious crime is perpetrated by a family acquaintance or distant (or not so distant) family member. We still need to be reasonably guarded with people we think we “know” our neighbors or men from church or co-workers. Even if it is just to keep their reputation pure.

If you are unsure how to let a guy know you are uncomfortable with any forwardness on his part then you can always let your father or authority do this for you. Many men are unintentionally just being too familiar. In such a circumstance I have been given some tips by my brother. If the guy is publicly too forward do not hesitate to state publicly your discomfort. This gives him the chance to back off. And if he continues it also give the other men in the room a chance to defend you based off of your stated standards. You can do this politely.

I was once with a group of friends and had gone without my brothers. At the event was a young man who knew very little boundaries and was standing close to me, trying to get a reaction from me by his antics and being altogether too forward. Normally I would go and stand by my brother. It is amazing, even worldly men will behave themselves when your men are around. But in this case I didn't have this option so I turned to this young man and said, “ I don't like this, I would like if you stopped.” And he did. It didn't phase him. He just went and sought out another girl from the group who would tolerate him. But I was no longer in any compromised situation.

I have also had young men try to habitually write me through media. I explained that I have a standard that I do not write young men one on one and they being gentlemen were good enough to abide by my conviction and it didn't hurt our friendship in the least.

I have a girlfriend that worked behind a counter. A young man was always coming and seeing her and talking to her. She had no feelings for him in the least but felt she didn't want to be impolite so never said anything. He eventually asked her out and even then she was unable to say no. Fearing to embarrass the other person or being afraid of being impolite often leads to situations where it is far more likely that you will embarrass them or make them feel badly. Better to be firm and say no upfront.

I also did this. There was a young man I was trying to witness to at work. I could tell he “liked” me but when he gave me his phone number I was shocked... and I took it! I didn't know how to say no. I made it half way to my car and thought “Dummy, what are you doing? Now he will be expecting a call from you!” I turned around raced back up the steps and gave it back to him. Talk about awkward. It would have been much easier if I had been able to say “No thank you” in the first place.

Here are some other handy tips:

In General

Don't wear earbuds while jogging. Keep alert.

It is never appropriate for a man (never mind his age) to ask you to be alone with him. Ever. Don't compromise for anyone.

Don't brush away your instincts. Don't be afraid of coming across rude or paranoid. If uncomfortable or uncertain if you are being followed run to a public place.

Before getting in the car whether alone or with your girlfriend, glance in the back seat for anyone before getting inside. Always lock your doors as routine. Bring a phone. And if alone or only with other girls do not pick up hitchhikers. Note the mile post and call someone if you want to help.

If you know you are being followed in a store do not hesitate to tell the manager. If by car you can go to a public gas station and tell the attendant to call the police, or you could drive straight to the police station.

Be wary of isolated parking, underground garages, or offices after business hours.

In Escalated Situations

Always remain as calm as possible, but do not be afraid to make a lot of noise if the situation escalates.

Determine your assailants intent. If he just wants your purse, be willing to give it up. Your life is worth much more than your purse.

Try to make mental notes of your assailant or their vehicle. Both I and my sister FaithAnne have been in situations where our assailants could have been caught if we had paid more attention to details. License plate numbers are a good detail to take note of. Know what first two digits belong to your county.

It's usually much better to flee than fight. But if you can't get away fight with tooth and nail. Don't play dead. And even worse, I've read advice saying to make yourself vomit on the assailant so he won't want you. Bad idea. Aim for tender and sensitive areas. Resist! Pleading and crying are statistically proven to be useless.

When it's over and you're safe, call 911. The quicker you can do this the more likely the police will be able to apprehend the assailant. Unfortunately the police are far out from where we live so in both Faith's and my situations they were unable to get to the scene quickly. But they were able to file a report.

Also be sure to talk over the events. Do not give into unreasonable fear. Learn what to do in situations. Learn how to either use weapons or defensive tactics. When victims resist and scream the rate for forced molestation drops to 50 percent. Running away shows that as few as 15 percent of women were molested. While studies indicate that violent physical force drops the number even more. In fact woman who used knives or guns in self defense were raped less than 1 percent of the time*.

*Statistics taken from “Safe, How to Protect yourself, your family and your home” by Wayne Lapierre

Don't allow the opposite gender to touch you. Even in a playful manner. Many sexual assaults start this way.

If unable to flee and you must fight remember that striking is more affective than pushing or wrestling. Better than punching is using your flat hand against an ear. You are under no obligation to concern yourself over your attackers welfare. Do not hesitate to kick and gouge sensitive areas.

Consider taking martial art defense classes and using pepper spray and firearms and always refuse to be a victim.

A Last Word

I hope that somehow this was helpful to you and would like to hear your thoughts on this topic. Both FaithAnne and I were attacked on ordinary days in familiar places without any warning. As women we are weaker and need to be prepared and equipped. My brothers have conveyed concern to me at the lack of prepared and knowledgeable girls in this area. I hope that this post was beneficial.