sweet thing: "dear beloved"
"Sweet Thing" : a new series I am sharing with you into the future. Sweet things and encouragements from people who inspire me. People you wouldn't otherwise meet.
And today, I am thrilled to share with you my interivew with a very special new friend of mine!
Her blog, Be Virtue has been such an encouragement to me. She is a gem of a young woman and such a good example of someone who is living for and in love with her King, the Lord. Enjoy this conversation I shared with her - may it encourage us all to live for and LOVE Jesus.
Can you share your name and a little bit about yourself?
My name is Chantal Parmley. I am an undergraduate student studying Youth & Family studies at a private Christian college. I only have one year left until graduation (yippie!). I am 21 years old going on 22 (don’t remind me hahaha … JK). I was born and raised in New York City by a southern family so I may look like a city girl but I have the heart of a southern belle, bless your heart.
Tell us about your events held in New York City area.
I have a passion for inner-city at risk teen girls. At risk is very vague, what I mean by at risk are girls living in father less homes, girls that are living in poverty, have been/are currently being abused domestically, sexual abuse victims, young girls involved in the commercial sex industry, as well as girls with broken hearts that feel unloved. All of these circumstances put young women at risk for sex trafficking, prison, cycles of poverty and many other things less than the will of God for their lives. The events held in the city are events that are geared towards loving on these young girls and sharing the gospel in uncommon ways; for instance our events are talk show style and interactive rather than a sit down traditional outreach service. Our very first event is this month in the Bronx. It is called, “He’s Just Not That Into You”. This event will be a compare and contrast of counterfeit love and the authentic love Christ gives. I really want the girls to know that they do not need to go searching for love, love will seek them out and they have already been sought out by love Himself.
Your beautiful blog, Be Virtue, has been a huge encouragement to me. Can you share your heart about how God feels about His daughters? What do you want women to know through your blog?
Ahhhh this is so hard to put into words. God loves His daughters so much. I see God’s daughter’s in a state of desperation and settling. We are desperate for love and we settle for any embrace of ‘romance’. God desires for us to drink from His fountain so that we will never thirst again. God desires for us to experience His true authentic love that only He can give. I want women to know through my blog that they are worth it, they are beautiful, they are loved, they do not have to settle, and that they are loved by love Himself!
In our culture, Hollywood defines true womanhood as being independent, sexy, thin, attractive, sexually active. What would you say to encourage women who are trying to live their lives to please the Lord, all the while being confronted with the world’s standards of “beautiful”? What do you see is the Lord’s heart for them?
One thing that has helped me is to surround myself with God’s culture. I am surrounded by women of God, men of God, music that glorifies God etc. Don’t watch those shows, don’t listen to that music that taints your thinking and tries to choke the word of God that is inside of you. We can’t expect to live for God as women of God if we keep taking in things that contradict His word. God desires for us to live according to His ways and standards not because He wants to take away our fun but because He knows the world’s idea of fun will lead to destruction and that is not His plan for us. Daddy knows best, trust God as your heavenly father. & perhaps you don’t have a father figure in your life ask God to show you what it means to have a heavenly father.
In some of your posts, you talk a lot about freedom from accusation, freedom from shame, and healing from abuse and the past. What would you share with a girl who suffered abuse in her past? What do you feel the Lord would want her to know?
This is such a heavy topic that is very dear to my heart especially since I was abused by various men in my life and day by day I am walking more and more into my freedom in Christ. What I would say to a girl who suffered abuse in her past first is that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Despite the should of’s and could have’s abuse is NEVER the fault of the victim. You may feel damaged, broken and like you will never be okay but praise be to God because our feelings do not determine truth. God is so good and He has a plan for our suffering. I would also tell her that forgiveness although hard is very key to her healing. I believe the Lord wants her to know He didn’t just die for the sins we committed but the sins that were also committed against us. He came to set the captives free, open your heart, pray for a softening of your heart, let God in so that you can be made whole. Though I have been through various scenarios of abuse I am right now more whole than before I was abused only because I opened my heart to God and let Him in.
Something I’ve loved and been so encouraged by on your blog are your “Love Letters From Your King”. Can you share one of the love letters with us?
Loneliness is an illusion. I know you may think this is cliche and religious jargon but this TRUTH prevails, I am always with you. I know how you long for the embrace of people and the company of others. Princess, be reminded that my embrace and my company satisfies. One day with me is better than a thousand else where. In my presence there is fullness of joy and at my right hand pleasures eternally. What this world has to offer is no comparison to all I want to freely give to you, my beloved daughter. I see you as you wait by the phone for others to call and respond to your text messages. I know the thoughts you have and all that makes your heart come alive. I am there when you cry. There is not a moment in your life that I have missed out on. In this world you are taught to believe what you see. You are taught to give first place to what is visible. Princess, the things unseen are eternal what you see will pass away. Although you can not visibly see me there are so many ways I can and desire to reveal myself to you, ask me. Loneliness is an illusion because I have never left you alone. I have always been here and will always be here. Embrace me, I will make you whole. Talk to me, I will listen. Spend time with me, I satisfy. Child of mine, I have everything your heart desires and needs. I value your freedom to choose and will never force myself upon you. I've given you the dignity to choose me. Beloved, life and death are set before you everyday. You can choose to walk with me or be separated from me. Choose me, choose life. Even when your feelings say otherwise remember the truth. I am always with you. Loneliness is an illusion because I have never left you and I understand. In your moments of loneliness I am there waiting for your embrace, choose me.
What is one thing you would share with a woman who is hurting (brokenhearted, abused, lonely, or in pain?)
Heal, forgive, love, walk boldly. Heal from that hurt refuse to stay there, do not seek the healing seek the Healer. Through falling in love with the Healer you will find your healing. Forgive those who hurt you do not harbor that unforgiveness, strife and bitterness it is not worth it. Forgiveness is for your freedom not them. Say they aren’t worthy of forgiveness? Well guess what neither are you and God still sent His son, Beloved, forgive. Love, and love unconditionally. Pray for God to overflow you with His love so that everyone who comes in contact with you MUST be touched! Love Love Love! Finally, walk boldly in your identity and authority as a princess, as a daughter of the King!
Doesn't she have so much wisdom on this topic?
If you know any women who would benefit from these truths, share away! :)
Stay strong and keep on keepin' on...
He loves ya.