I thought he was getting trafficked.

His name was A, and he was nine years old. He lived in a motel up the road and his parents were nowhere to be found. They said they were painting, but they wouldn’t answer the phone. His mom and dad shared one phone number and didn’t have a car. They had been gone all day and it was 10:30 at night when I found him.

man walking on the empty street
Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

He was on a street corner and a man was talking to him through his car window. Immediately I felt that something wasn’t right and came to a stop. I waited and watched for a minute as another car pulled over and two Hispanic men got out of the car. From where I was sitting, it looked like all parties involved were trying to find directions to a place. I decided to step in.

assorted map pieces
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

“Everything alright?” I said as I walked up to this group of three men and one little boy at 10:30pm. We were on a busy street corner and I wasn’t worried about being a solo woman. I wore sweatpants and old, ugly t-shirt that doesn’t belong to me. I sized up the scene and saw that the two Hispanic men were probably in their late twenties. The older, white man was preppy and appeared wealthy. I was going to threaten him if necessary. If I sensed any sort of funny business at all.

.

.

.

As the story goes, apparently A was left alone and told to stay in his motel. He got scared and was on his way to a friend’s house. He would have to cross a couple of major roads to get to his friend’s house. Late at night. As a nine year old. Where he could easily get picked up and taken away forever. But he didn’t know. He was nine years old, after all. Nobody sets out to be trafficked. But it happens all. the. time. Trafficking is most common in the United States. It’s said that there are between 20 and 40 million people in this type of “modern slavery” internationally. 50k new people are trafficked in the U.S. each year.

.

.

.

So A agreed to let J (the white guy) drive him back to where he was staying. The Hispanic men and I followed behind him in our cars. The motel was right around the corner and the door was unlocked. Inside, it smelled like dog urine. A small, barking dog was in the back corner of the room. God knows how long it had been in its’ cage. I wanted to take the dog outside but there was no collar and no leash.

black confident man in hat on street
Photo by Jacob Pilatoe on Pexels.com

It grieved me, seeing the state of this room, this boy’s life.

“A, you have to stay in this room. Will you promise to stay here?” J asked A sincerely.

“I don’t like it here. I don’t want to be here.” A said with sadness in his eyes. He was lonely and scared, and his parents weren’t responding to any messages. The man at the front desk said that A and his parents checked in five days ago. God knows how long his parents had been away or when they were coming back.

A looked at me and said something that about broke my heart. “Will you stay here with me?”

“I can’t…” I told him with sad eyes. It was such a tough call but we had to call the police. A wouldn’t stay in the motel alone (he shouldn’t have done so anyway) and his parents were M.I.A. We didn’t want A or his family to get in trouble but there was nothing else we could do. The police arrived on the scene soon after.

closed eyed man holding his face using both of his hands
Photo by Ric Rodrigues on Pexels.com

After some questioning and phone calls, and thankfully, even a couple of laughs, it was discovered that A had been in this situation before. In fact, more than once. CPS had been in and out of A’s life. They came and took A away that night. They left a note for his parents and at the front desk.

.

.

.

Meeting A made me wonder how many other children are in the exact same position as him. He was tired, lonely, scared, confused. He could’ve been trafficked or killed. His parents had to work at night to make some money (supposedly, though God knows all the details). They didn’t have a car. Maybe they had been kicked out of their prior residence. A had been left alone times before. I wondered how it was possible that they really had nobody to help. Not even one person? How does somebody get into that situation?

I don’t know. But I do know this: I thank God that I was in that time and place when I was. I thank God that A is okay now. I thank God for my life and friends and connections and opportunities. I thank God for the ability to make a difference in a child’s life and to make darn sure that my future children will NEVER suffer in that way. No matter what, as long as I can help it.

I’m praying for A. I’m praying for his parents. I’m praying for his little dog. I’m praying for all of the people and families that A represents; people that are suffering in the same exact way. And maybe worse. With drug abuse or sexual abuse.

I was only able to give A a few hours of my time, but I wish I could have given him more. I wish I could have stayed with him. But I can pray. And God moves when we pray according to His will. And it’s His will for all people to be saved. Therefore, He will do it 🙂

Don’t give up hope. If you know someone in a seemingly hopeless situation, remember these words: while there is breath, there is hope. And if something doesn’t seem right, stop. Help. Lend. Serve. Look. Listen.

<3

xxx

V

christian thoughts on masturbation.

These are a few christian thoughts on masturbation. Masturbation is a sin. This is me describing how it makes me feel and why I decided to stop!

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Listening to God

requires stopping the ongoing thought train in my own mind and being attentive to what God is saying to me. Sometimes stopping the train is difficult, but I have found ways to help me listen to Him speak.

Velvet. I have something to show you. Will you come and eat with me? Will you join me for a moment so I can share my heart with you.

If God is everywhere, how come it seems so hard to hear Him sometimes?

I think it’s because we’re not waiting in His presence for long enough.

It’s like working out. You can’t go to the gym for 2 minutes a day and expect the same results as someone who goes for 2 hours a day. Building up our faith muscles takes time and effort. Distinguishing between God’s voice and the enemy’s or our own is a skill to be honed. And it happens through time spent with God.

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the dawn,
         If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

Even there Your hand will lead me,
         And Your right hand will lay hold of me.”

Psalm 139:7-10

He is everywhere. When we are at home, He is there.

When we are at work, He is there.

At the grocery store, He is there.

At the gym, He is there.

Alone in the car, He is there.

At the beach, He is there.

In the dark, He is there.

And He is waiting to commune with us. We have the choice. To choose spending time with Him, or not. To choose hearing from Him, or not.

Lord, I thank you for your pursuit of me. I thank you for never giving up on me. I thank you for always sending me to the right places at the right times. I thank you for sending me the right people at the right times. I thank you for always taking care of me in the best way possible. Even with challenges and suffering. Thank you for making my ears attentive to you and for teaching me how to trust you. I wish I could trust you more easily. I wish I could believe your Word like I say I do. But I know that this will become easier the more time that I spend in your Word and in Your presence. Your word unto my ears and mind is like a fresh lens. The more I “put it on” and “put on Christ” and apply your teaching to my life, the more clearly I can see the design that you have for your people and for the world. Forgive me for always running ahead of you. Forgive me for choosing to focus on my problems and not trust you in this season. Forgive me for choosing to focus on what I DON’T have instead of all that I do. Thank you that you are my shepherd, and I lack nothing because of you <3

Listening to God. How could I not want to listen to Him!!! The Creator of the Universe… my goodness! The creator of all wants to commune with me. The God of everything is also the God of each person. My God. My Father. And He wants to commune with you too. He has a message for you. Will you carve out time today to listen to what He has to say? What is more important than communing with the One who knows you better than you know your self?

God Bless! <3

If you’re running away from God, He has a message for you

If you’re running away from God, He has a message for you. What are you willing to sacrifice to grow your faith in God? Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

 

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Shine a light on it

God speaks in funny little ways sometimes.

So I just got home from work. I brought home a little container of ice cream that I had left in the freezer where I work for the past couple of days. I had a spoon in my glove box and decided to try a bite of the chocolate, chocolate chip ice cream right there in the car. Why didn’t I wait until I got into the house? Good question.

Maybe so God could show me what He showed me.

I only wanted to eat a tad of the ice cream.
I love eating the soft, melty ice cream around the edges when you’re eating out of a container (no shame. besides, this was just a single-serve-sized container, so no judgment. But even if it were a pint of a quart, no shame 😀 as long as you aren’t sharing during COVID season 😉 )

Because I was eating the ice cream in the dark, I couldn’t maneuver the melty parts onto my spoon that well. I decide to abort the mission and take that party inside.

I resume in the kitchen and breathed a minor sigh of relief.

Shining a light on something changes everything.

I could finally see.

*

*

*

A song that’s been on my heart lately is “Who You Really Are”. Here are a couple of lines from the song:

Who you really are, God and King

Who you really are, Lord of everything

Who you really are, teach me to see You as you really are

Who you really are, Risen and Living

Who you really are, Just and yet Forgiving

Who you really are, teach me to see You as You really are.

 

I want to see you God. And I want to see you as you REALLY are. Not just the fluffy parts. I thank you for being loving, and I THANK you for being just. I thank you for being patient, and I THANK you for being jealous. I THANK YOU for being Peace, Shalom, and I THANK you that you are a sword. 

Thank you Lord, for dividing families. Thank you for permitting sickness and disease. Thank you for your judgment. You are so merciful, so gracious… but you are NOT a rug. You will NOT be walked over. You will NOT be mocked.

 

“Do not be deceived, God canNOT be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”.

Galatians 6:7

A man reaps what he sows.

reap what I sow.

Be it seeds of anger, discord, mockery, scorn, hate, judgment, irritability, impatience, DECEIT, jealousy….

…or seeds of love, trust, truthfulness, honesty, integrity, patience, kindness, all for the glory of God.

Lord God, THANK YOU that YOU. CANNOT. BE. MOCKED. You see ME as I really am, and choose to lavish love and grace on me. And at the same time, you convict me of sin, let me experience the consequences of my sin, and teach me in my heart that You REALLY ARE TRUSTWORTHY. You really are FOR me. You really are FIGHTING for me. You really are CARING for me. You really are LOVING me when you discipline. When you prevent. When you protect. When you prohibit. When you prolong. When you provide. When you withhold. When you act. When you stay silent. When you seem distant. 

You are consistent. Thank you for making me more like you.

*

*

*

So, so back to the ice cream. When we look at God and see Him as He really is, we can ask God to help us become more like Him and less like us.

I looked at my spoon and thought about how God continually shines His light into the dark places in my life and reveals what I need to work on:

*being more patient with other people

*being more forgiving of other people

*not trusting God’s timing enough in any given situation

*not walking in the Spirit

*not actively seeking out God’s voice in the midst of the world’s voices

*not really believing in all of His promises in scripture
If I really did believe, would I not obey His commands fully? 2 Corinthians 12:9 assures us that God’s grace is sufficient enough to set us FREE from sin.

Free.

Totally, completely, 100% free. We can choose to say NO to petty, hateful behavior; selfish, angry thoughts, motives and intentions. We can truly lavish love and healing onto other people for the sake of God’s glory alone, and we no longer have to carry the weight of our shame and sin.

This is the power of Christ in us.

Do I really believe this?

Is that what God is saying to me? Is that what God is saying to US right now?

Be still? and KNOW? that He is God?

Do I really KNOW it?

Is it head knowledge, or is it heart knowledge also.

The truth is revealed in actions towards others.

 

 

 

Time is short brothers and sisters. Shine a light on your life… on all different areas. And ask God to show you what to work on. He is Faithful to do so, in Jesus’s name and for Christ’s sake. Amen

xxx

<3

V

10:29

annnnd I’m about to turn out the light. I will get almost 8 hours of sleep if I turn it off right now and immediately fall asleep. And stop typing. hahaha

But I’ll take just a couple minutes to reflect over this God-given day. It was a good day. I felt a lot better (physically) when I woke up this morning… still couldn’t eat as much today and was craving very light foods. But energy level was high, and spirits were higher.

I love when God’s awesome glory captivates me. It seems to come in flickers and I’ll just stop for a moment and feel like crying. It happened to me today as I was pulling out of the plaza where I’d gone grocery shopping. I was just overwhelmed with God’s goodness and provision. His grandeur and omnipresence, even in the minute details of my day.

He’s so big.

And His love is so deep.

Tonight my bible study group had a worship night on the sand. The weather was brilliant. I feel British when I use that adjective. But it really was, brilliant! The sky was beautiful as it changed from orange to purple to pink as the sun was setting over the water. The water looked like someone had spilled pink paint onto the surface that created rippling streaks as the tide slowly ebbed and flowed.

The reflections of the sky on the water, and the awareness that God knows the number of each grain of sand, as well as each hair on my head was awe-inspiring. And He still takes the time to lead me every step of the way through my day.

“You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5

Lord

I feel so safe with you

I know you’ve gone before me 

I know you’re behind me also

You’ve hemmed me in 

There is no move that I can make that you don’t yet know

You know my motives and my desires

You know my aspirations

You know my weaknesses and my failures

Yet you still care for me

You still work everything for my good

You still teach me and comfort me 

I thank thee Lord for your love that wilt not let me go

It won’t let me go

You pursue me to the depths and water my frame

You mold me into the perfect design that you thought of before time 

I thank thee for your control

I’m lost without you! Yet I’ll never be lost, for you are always with me

You are Faithful; Faithful is your name

<3

xxx

V

friday

hey fam

hope your week has been going well! I’ve been itching to blog for a few days but haven’t had the opportunity. So here we are.

This morning I was reading in 1 Corinthians about Jesus being the “firstfruits of all others who believe in Him” (15:20). Apparently this is an old testament image of the first installment of a crop which anticipates and guarantees the entire crop. AKA, Jesus came, died, and rose again. We died with Christ and were raised to life in Him. He is perfect, pure, blameless, sinless. And 1 John 3:2 says “when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is”.

We shall be like him. Like Christ. He guaranteed that for us when he died on the cross for our sins and was raised to life. He gave us the gift of eternal life and the process of sanctification and conformation began. We are being conformed to his image more and more each day. And one day, we shall be totally like him. Perfected.

“The good work he has begun in me will be perfected” Phil. 1:6.

It’s a promise. And God is a promise-keeper.

I love when people keep their promises. When people follow through on their words. It’s hard to follow through sometimes; impossible sometimes. People promise things all the time that never come to pass, because we aren’t in control. Even if we have the best of intentions, God’s hand still has to move to either allow something to happen or to make it happen.

God keeps his promises. His word doesn’t change. He doesn’t go back on his word and doesn’t forget his promises. When he said in his word that Christ IS the firstfruits of ALL who believe in him, he promised us that one day we would be like Christ.

We have the capacity to bear Christ’s image now with the Holy Spirit. We have daily opportunities to bear witness to the truth of scripture, love people that are hard to love, forgive people, see past human tendencies and the flesh, and set our eyes on heavenly things and store up our treasures there instead of becoming enthralled with the world.

Lord Jesus, thank you for breaking my schemes of earthly joy and teaching me to find my all in You. I thank you for not simply modifying my behavior, but for rooting out from within me the tendencies I have to try to satisfy myself apart from your love, grace and will. Lord I thank you for revealing yourself to me and teaching me how you shepherd me and provide all that I need. I thank you that I don’t have to be in want because you are my shepherd. Thank you for knowing my name. Thank you for tuning my ears to the sound of your voice. Thank you for showing me the one way which brings true life. Lord, help me to give myself fully to your work, because I know that my labor in your is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). Amen.

Today is going to be a good day. I know this because (1) the Lord made it and (2) gave it to me. I wonder what all He’ll have me do today. 🙂

Fam- rest in the promise that Jesus died so we could be like Him. Look to Christ’s life for the example of how we ought to live. It’s crystal clear and never lets us down. Pray and ask God for the power to rest in Christ’s leading.

xxx

<3

V

I obeyed

and I feel a lot better. I obeyed because my Father told me to do something.

My Father knows what I need. He knows what I lack. He knows the areas that I have to grow in. He challenges me. He comforts me at the same time. He walks alongside me.

He was with me tonight when I had a hard conversation.

Confrontation is not my favorite thing. It’s actually really hard for me. It’s difficult to confront people about things that bother me. I’m not great at it because I don’t want to hurt the person I have to confront. I have been trained to walk on eggshells my whole life; never wanting to hurt anyone or experience the possibility of an adverse reaction. Anything to avoid conflict. But God is teaching me how to have hard conversations. He keeps impressing upon me — with His Holy Spirit– times and opportunities to talk about the hard things.

And it wasn’t so bad. Nobody bit my head off. Nobody yelled at me or threw anything at me. Nobody sneered at me, scoffed at me, or mocked me. What I said was received, and received well. Seemingly.

Though time will tell. Time will reveal the fruit of last night’s conversation. But I had to say the things I said. They were eating me from the inside out. And I feel better now. And I trust the Lord!

The fruit of the Spirit of goodness means telling someone the truth even when it hurts. It’s saying it out of a place of love, and in a loving manner. But often times it’s hard to do.

Watch my video on kindness/goodness! 🙂  https://youtu.be/Z2N2JKbtm_0 🙂

Lord! Thank you for this Monday morning. Thank you for a sufficient amount of sleep. Thank you for a comfortable bed and a place to wash my face and a way to hear Your Word. Father thank you for hearing my prayers telling me to pray. Thank you for being patient with me and teaching me to rely on You completamente por todos. I love you <3

xx

V

 

 

 

Trusting Him

Do I trust Him

Do I trust His Holy Spirit

Do I trust His message that He lays on my heart?

Will I be obedient even if it’s uncomfortable. Even if it’s painful. Even if it means hurting someone that I care about? Even if it means telling the truth when the truth could hurt?

Even if it means tough love?

Yet He comforts me and says “I am with you and will never leave you or forsake you.”

And I feel that He is with me and I thank Him for sticking with me even during times of suffering the consequences of my own sin. He is with me even when I am experiencing the repercussions of my own bad choices. And He has my hand in His hand and He says walk this way my child, walk with Me. Come and drink of the living water, which is the only water that satisfies. And He leads me, and He carries me, and He comforts me, and His love for me is stronger with each step that we take.

Lord Jesus… I trust You. I thank you that you have given me a spirit not of fear, but of power, love and self-control. Thank you for being with me and for leading me along the paths of righteous for Your name’s sake. Thank you for using me as your vessel. Thank you for teaching me to move forward in faith. Amen.

xx <3

V

I have a family

different from the one I was born into. It’s a heavenly family. A divine family. A family that I didn’t see for myself and say “I want to be a part of that family.”

But my new, heavenly, divine Father was the one who picked me to be in His family. He saw me floundering in the world, and chasing guys, drinking too much, doing drugs, and obsessing over my appearance. He saw me struggling with not eating right, and overexercising to compensate for eating too much. He saw my broken earthly family and the heartache. And He decided to reach out. He talked to me. He planted a seed in my heart that I didn’t know existed.

I believed. I believed it was He, and He rescued me. I turned to Him and saw His ways with fresh eyes, and for the very first time.

He adopted me.

Adopting a child is no small feat. The action alone says “I want to be kind to you, for no reason.” He wanted to be kind to me, for no reason. Simply because He wanted to share His love with me.

He gave me a room in His spiritual house and began teaching me what it means to be a member of His family. As His daughter, there are certain things I don’t do anymore. There are things I do differently. There are things that I once did that I couldn’t fathom doing now, so as to honor my new family.

I want to please Him. I want to be around Him and learn from Him. I start to understand why He says it’s not good to do certain things. Other things I still try to do and He doesn’t let me. I usually understand later on the reasoning. The reason behind His discipline isn’t always clear though. But I know He is to be trusted and that one day it will all become clear.

He wants me to uphold the family name. He wants me to serve the family. He wants to share His riches with me. He already has made my life rich with His love and grace and endless mercy; but then He says there are immeasurable riches to come. An immeasurable share of riches is mine; simply because I was adopted into God’s spiritual family. At no cost to me.

No cost, except I have to be willing to stop living the way I was before. I’ve come a long way, though there are many things I don’t understand.

Lord, what love is this that you would send your son to die on the cross for my sins, so that I might be reconciled to you and enjoy you and your riches forever?

What love is this that You set Yourself to win my love by loving me first? You made it your goal to love me and catch my affections, so that you might have mine. Why would you want mine?

We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Let us go out and love others first, and for “no” reason; to emulate Christ.

xxx

<3

 

V