For Day 8 of NaPoWrMo the prompt is writing a poem with repetition. For letter G of the A to Z Challenge. I’m also completing the challenge of writing for Friday’s MusicPrompt from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie and the song “Jeter Un Sort” by French-Canadian musician Alex Nevsky.
“We be light, we be life, we be fire! We sing electric flame, we rumble underground wind, we dance heaven! Come be we and be free!” ― Kate Griffin, A Madness of Angels
——- I cast a spell, not knowing what resulted,
Whatever the time or secrets you kept.
We’re so closely linked it’s hard to default.
Casting a spell you poisoned; I was swept,
Your magic undid me, your mystic chase,
When I’m without you, life feels bereft.
I did not know how long our lives would each grace —
Welcome back to another December issue of my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing the gracious and beautiful Jackelyn Santana who was recentlymarried. She has a faith based blog here: Faith Walking Hebrews 11:1. She describes her blog using the Hebrews 1:11Bible Verse: “Now Faith Is The Assurance of Things Hoped For, The Conviction of things Not Seen.”
1. Jackelyn, Please Tell Us About Yourself?
My name is Jackelyn Santana, I am from Miami, FL, and my family is of Cuban descent.I am a child of God and passionate about my faith. I LOVE reading, blogging, and spending time with my family. I was married on November 11, 2016 and I am a mother to an amazing six-year-old and a stepmother to two beautiful young ladies.
This year has been full of blessings. To emotionally prepare myself for our marriage, I spent the year analyzing myself and I’m finally at a place where I can embrace my authenticity. I spent a good portion of my life internalizing my pain, wearing masks to cope, and believing something was wrong because I didn’t have everything as it seemed everyone around me had.
Having this frame of mind enslaved me. There wasn’t anything wrong with what I was facing, but because there’s a stigma associated with imperfection and emotional struggle, I thought it was a ‘ME’ problem. I didn’t realize the truth, my problems were natural and universal.
As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other,helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.
The most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed is a group of hopeless lost souls coming together and loving each other back to life. We found a reason to smile again. This world is in such need of healing. I would love nothing more than to help spread love and healing wherever I go in my life.
” As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.” – Jackelyn Santana
2. When Did You Begin Blogging? What Does Blogging and Writing Mean To You?
I started blogging about four months ago July 20, 2016 to be exact. Blogging means everything to me! It’s liberated me. I’m free!! The more I write about things, the less ashamed I am of what I’ve faced. With each post I’ve removed the chains of emotions and experiences I kept a secret. These emotions and experiences have lost power over me.
This has allowed me to acknowledge and celebrate my spiritual growth. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers. Blogging also gives me an inside view of my soul. Sometimes I’m shocked when I read older posts because when I wrote, I let the words flow from my soul and they expressed things I wouldn’t voice out loud.
3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation To Write?
I am inspired by my faith and other bloggers. I began blogging about one-year ago, but I didn’t think I could write posts people would want to read. I’m better at public speaking than I am at writing. A co-worker of mine kept pushing me to write.I would share advice with her and she would nudge me to put it on paper. I finally decided to test the waters by submitting a guest post on Proverbs 31 Women.
They approved my guest post one-month later and I was shocked and honored. I started writing away on my blog often. My faith in God changed my life,it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs. It’s become a way of life for me and I want to help others learn about Jesus in practical terms.
Many times when we think of the Bible we think of a standard which is too high for most of us to reach. The Bible comes across as something only ‘Holy’ people read. Or, we become intimidated by it because we find it unrelatable since The Bible was written many moons ago and times have changed.
These ideas of Christianity couldn’t be further from the truth.We need to find the right tools to break down barriers from reading God’s Word, The Bible, and help others understand faith in simpler terms.Believing in Jesus can guide us towards love and happiness. Once we understand the basics, our soul will keep searching for more – our hearts will be “homing our Heavenly home,” if you will, and we will grow spiritually.
By identifying with examples from the stories in The Bible, we can understand our obstacles are not too much, our lives can be molded in a way which allows us to serve both God, our families, and friends because they’re all related.
God acknowledges our need for connection and sent his son Jesus not only so that we could be saved, but so we could identify with Jesus and strive to imitate His way of life. As a woman, fiancee, and mother, I have been able to love more purely and unconditionally through The Bible’s teachings, making them a way of life.
Reflecting on the dark moments I’ve faced, I see how fine the line between good and evil can be — being saved or being lost; I want tohelp others be saved as I am saved through Jesus’s death and resurrection.
“My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs.’ – Jackelyn Santana
4. When Do You Like to Write and Do You Have Any Current Special Writing Projects?
There isn’t a time of day that inspires me the most. I write whenever my heart moves me to write. As of today I’m only blogging. My passion and dream is to help others. Perhaps join /create a traveling retreat group, or participate in spiritual workshops. This is a concept similar to a ‘Women of Faith’ tour, but on a smaller more personal level.
There would be one to one interaction, healing exercises, and honest group talk. I would love to help others come out of their shells and be saved through faith in Jesus and God as I was. My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.
5. Are You Planning on Publishing Any Written Work in The Future?
I have not published anything. Perhaps later in life I will be presented the opportunity to do so, or I will submit writing drafts. With only four-months of blogging under my belt I’m focusing on identifying my writing voice, interacting with others through my writing, and improving my writing skills which are at a novice level. I would also like to study theology and I think it would further advance my writing.
“My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.”
6. What Is Your Writing Process Like?
I sit in front of my laptop or a notepad and I pray, relax, and set my soul free to express itself. When an idea pops into my mind I write it down either on my phone’s notepad, or sticky notes. I may begin draft posts that I revisit at a later time when I can give my writing undivided attention. I have about fourteen draft posts which I’ve begun and I’m saving for the future blog posts.
When I first started blogging I would write and post instantly. I’ve learned to slow down and process topics, allowing my mind to continue digging for information. I will officially post my writing after I have looked at every angle.
7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers Starting Out?
Write about topics you are passionate about. It feels great to do what you love. I love what I write about and it’s how I live my life. If you’re on the fence about writing I would suggest you take a leap of faith and see what comes from this desire.
WordPress has a wonderful community of bloggers and this community helps you grow as a writer. Don’t write posts for the sake of increasing traffic and followers, write on topics you enjoy writing about.
8. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Your Writing?
I am God’s creation, I am human, I am imperfect, and I am meant to depend on God. Read this post to learn more about me.
9. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Favorite Blog Posts:
“Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature. They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings. They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.” –Shannon L. Alder
I am on an emotional roller coaster ride.
I will not try to deny it, this is who I am, sensitivity and all. I wear my sensitivity as a badge of honor, although throughout life I have been ridiculed or further wounded because of it. I cannot control the sensitive nature of my heart. I may pretend something has not stabbed or wounded me, but more likely than not this is not the case.
For many years I have tried to harden myself, hoping that I would become immune to the blows of life, and the harsh words received from those I hold with high esteem. Despite my efforts, my sensitive nature is unchanged.
My sensitive nature is misunderstood.
Those closest to me believe they understand me and my motives. They believe they can read between the lines. Many dare to correct me when I express my intentions and motives, determined their interpretation of my position is correct. My hard and serious exterior denies me the right to ever be recognized as a victim, although, my heart tells me otherwise. Many times I find myself confused, doubting my heart, thinking that there is something severely wrong because I’m always wrong and never right about my own feelings. Maybe I am bad at the core?
One Of My Favorite Bible Verses:
“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15
In my case, I do not understand why I continue to love and care the way I do. I know better, yet I cannot help it. I continue to express my vulnerabilities to those I care about in hopes that I will be understood. The more I explain myself, the further away I get from MY truth, and the closer I get to shedding unfavorable light on myself. I allow the fighter in me to get the best of me when I feel taken advantage of. This without a doubt, is used against me as I fail to be consistent, giving in to my human frailty. I can only be silent for so long without jumping into protective mode. I can only shed so many tears without lashing out. The cruelty I spew is the cruelty I have learned through life, it is not the natural nature of my heart. I would never purposely provoke tears from anyone, not even those who have hurt me profoundly. Yet sometimes acting in this manner is the only way I can get someone to listen to my voice and believe my truth. I am neither too proud to extend an apology when deserved and make amends with those I’ve offended. My truest desire is to maintain peace.
I am not taken seriously in my tender moments; my tenderness is taken for granted. The world demands yet resents my tenderness. Should a loved one offend me, my tenderness is an inconvenience because my tears take away from focusing on the “root” of the problem, and I am forced to slog against the tears. Should I act sternly with others, not allowing my emotions to flinch, I’m accused of being cold and harsh. The combination of my emotions is never seen as right.
It seems my sensitivity is to be used at the convenience of others. I can never be me. I’m never entitled to the beauty of my emotions. My view of my emotions is brushed off because I am overly sensitive. Yet, I cannot label the world as overly cruel, overly angry, or overly unforgiving.
I read once that instead of numbing our pain we need to identify the source of our pain and work on the problem instead of the symptom. For example, we may have a headache because we are dehydrated, hungry, or stressed. We should work on fixing those issues rather than silencing the headache calling out for attention.
The same goes for my tears. My tears, the ‘water works’ as they’ve been called, are not crocodile tears. It’s not an act or an attempt to manipulate; these statements couldn’t be further from the truth. My tears are indicators that my soul is experiencing pain, something is hurting me. To stop my pain at it’s root I need to either freeze my heart (which I have failed to accomplish) or excuse myself from the undesirable situation until I’m emotionally ready. This I can rarely accomplish without ridicule that I cannot work through a topic, without being accused of being overly dramatic.
I am always apologizing, but rarely entitled to an apology when hurt because my over-sensitivity is what causes the pain, not the actions or words of others.
When is my sensitive nature ever right for me!?
People say my tears and sensitive nature take away from the moment. I have slogged away for a good portion of my life to hide these parts of myself. I keep my tears a secret and am ashamed of my weakness.
As an adult, I find that my sensitive nature and heart are not the problem. The problem is the lack of sensitivity in the world. It’s not the compassionate who are the problem; a lack of empathy is the problem! I will continue to embrace my sensitivity, tears and all. I do not lose hope there are more sensitive people out there. I won’t (and truthfully can’t) harden myself and lose hope because I find the world to be cruel and unloving. I am who I am. I am transparent.My anger is pain masked with anger. It’s sadness for being the recipient of a pain I would never wish to inflict on others. It’s a betrayal I never foresaw. It’s the second opportunity no one else would’ve extended, yet I’ve already extended a third to my offender while knowing how the situation will likely end. It’s fighting the urge to assume the worst in others. It’s the unconditional love I am willing to give which is rarely cashed in.
It’s the product of a broken heart living in a broken world that is trying to break the best in me.
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a “hot mess” or having “too many issues” are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” – Anthon St. Maarten
Thank you so much Jackelyn for agreeing to be interviewed. I am thrilled to find out so much about you and hope your struggles in life have become easier to handle through your faith. I hope you have more peaceful moments, than times which stress you out. Here is one more link to Jackelyn’s Blog: Faith Walking Hebrews 11:1
Thanks for reading! If you would like to answer some interview questions about writing/blogging/poetry and your unique perspective and process on writing, I would encourage you to reach-out to me on my Contact Page. I would love to have you featured as a biweekly interviewee. See you in two-weeks!
1.Surrounded by darkness, yet bathed in light; the sun holds us rapt through the window and illuminates us with it’s cheerful presence; yet behind us is the office, the blackness and blankness of that space I sit and toil in depresses me, but here in sunlight I find a few moments of freedoms with my colleagues; I don’t know them and they don’t me but here we are neighbours in luminescence, at liberty from the chains waiting to be replaced in our cold shadowed offices.
2. This classroom is different from the others I’ve had courses in, for one thing there are gigantic glass windows and open space where I don’t feel as if I’m some mole in a depressing dank hole of a classroom; in this space I feel inspired, I feel hope that I can learn, and do the work the class requires; the open feeling extends to how students treat each other,we laugh, banter, and we trade ideas back and forth (the professor is merely a mediator); at the end of class I’m refreshed and ignited with a passion to learn, a passion I could carry into a career, at least into my school work.
3. I haven’t been here, at this place too long and it’s a new setting for me to become used to; usually, I have worked in silence, now there are the voices of many people spinning and weaving with the sunlight from the huge windows; I’m not used to the light either, it is a warm blast of suppression, making the sunlit tables more stifling; I like the darkness and I am at my best in it, so I watch my new environment with people talking excitedly, observing how these persons thrive in the glow of sunlight, and I thrive in the shadows, the tar black places of the mind.
Thank you to Sonya for hosting the 3 Line Tales challenge/prompt. I know these are long sentences, but I feel with this prompt it’s okay to do that, even though in other writing it is not 🙂
Amber was afraid of Santa. She couldn’t tell you why. He gave her a scared feeling. A feeling a four-year-old didn’t enjoy.
As the line became shorter Amber began to clench her little fists and grit her teeth. She didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap.
“What’s wrong Amber?” Her Aunt Kylie asked, ” don’t you wan’t to see Santa and tell him what you want for Christmas? You’ve been a good girl, right? So, it will be no problem for you and you’ll get a candy cane,” said Aunt Kylie.
Amber pursed her lips and stomped up and down. “No Santa. Santa is bad. I don’t want to see him; this Santa is not the real Santa.”
Aunt Kylie shrugged and patted Ambers mess of hair. Amber waited and her fear of Santa increased ten fold when she went up to him and an elf put her on St. Nick’s knee.
It was then before Amber’s eyes Santa’s face changed. His eyes were black as coal and face changed into a monster with horns. He looked at Amber and smiled malevolently.
“Hello Amber” he whispered to her, “my name is Krampus. When you’re a naughty girl you go on my list. And when I come to your house Christmas Eve there will be no presents. I’m going to whip you with chains and lashes and take you down to the firey place all bad children go.”
Amber screamed loudly and Krampus transformed back into St. Nick. Aunt Kylie apologized for Amber’s outburst and Santa laughed and gave Amber a candy cane and an elf snapped a picture of Amber and Santa. Amber continued to squirm and push against Santa the whole time and Santa told her to be good as if he was a kindly gentlemen.
But Amber knew what she saw and heard. She knew come Christmas Eve, Krampus would come for her. So, on Christmas Eve she hid with a gun she knew her Daddy kept in his bedside table. And when Krampus came to find her she hid under the bed. But he pulled her out anyways and tried to whip her body. Then Amber pulled the trigger at his head and screamed.
Aunt Kylie, Mom, Dad, and Kylie’s boyfriend Vince all came running out to Amber’s room. They were all shocked to see a vile beast lying dead on Amber’s floor, a bullet hole in his forehead. He had cloven hooves and horns and a curly white beard. His skin was gray and disgusting and his eyes were terrifying. Even dead, they were evil and contained knowledge of a hell, where the worst children would go.
Amber laughed. She hugged her Daddy’s knee and pointed to the dead Krampus on the floor joyfully.
In my small slice of time, I’ve learned that each day, there are people who’ll come and softly fade away.
There are those who are there then out in a fright, a firecracker banging once in starlight.
And there are people who are there for a certain test of time before they say ‘goodbye.’
And there are others yet still, who exist to pull you through the falls into sparkling light.
But yet remains a person I detest, those who existed for awhile made a live wrenching impression then disappeared.
Those who were important but fade to shuddered sight — those who cut your soul and make you ask — what was the point of you, to drown me in my past.
And years tremble by like water in a fountain, babbling away every drop they ever made.
But water is circular and water is the chill of bones when it coldly lands on your skin once more.
And you’ll never know how a memory can fade and resurface and splash you in the eye mixing water with your tears.
Perhaps it’s me but I don’t know, perhaps you’re a memory of someone who was special who will never let me go.
I seek closure, and I seek compassion that God would ease my demons as I walk through life.
But time will grow and whisper through the years, and your eyes, your smile, that face will never let me escape my mind.
And I shudder to think what cutting all connection would do — but I think it would free me — a girl can hope for anything right?
Whatever you meant, you don’t mean that now, we both know it but I’m sliding down in sickeningly deep mud, endless piles of little loves, until I’ve blown up your importance far to much.
Forget you I pray, until you’re only a prayer on some occasion.
So I never think that your the one that got
So I never see I’m a failure, and I did a lot of boys disservice.
Maybe I’ll forget to recognize the way you treated me in the past — that there was a reason we never stood hand in hand.
I’m just reminding myself to give up again because what I have I love.
And attraction like that is just lust.
You are no different then an actor who I liked briefly.
You are just too much for me to handle.
No one I’ll ever get close to.
You are gone now — but oh how your memory enslaves me.
Oh how I hate those in memory who wait and strangle all hope of forgetting from you.
Oh how I wish there was a solution, that I could go out in this world and be free of all the chains that bind me.
What is freedom? That without a past.