Tag Archives: Christian

When Tough Times Happen

Sometimes life is so hard.  It seems like things go wrong constantly & you are stressed, hurt or frustrated.  In those times, God seems far away.  Not only because of the problems you’re going through but also because it can be so easy to get caught up in them & forget to keep God first.  It is in those times that we need to stop behaving like the person Jesus described in Matthew 13:22 in the parable of the seeds sown in various types of soil.  That person is the one who is distracted from his relationship with God by the things of the world like personal problems.  Unfortunately no one is immune to behaving this way sometimes.

When you’re distracted by problems, it is vital to turn back to God as soon as you recognize what you are doing.  He deserves first place in your life after all!  Doing so also will help strengthen you & help you to figure out ways to handle your situation.  It may teach you some other things as well. God truly wants the best for His children, so He often uses circumstances to protect, teach & guide us.  Following are some examples of when He does these things.

Anything that isn’t Biblical, God will close the door to.  If you have to lie to get a new job for example, God will close that door so you don’t get the job or allow you to get it but you will be miserable with it.  It can be difficult & even painful in the moment, but truly it’s for the best!  You have learned not to behave that way, & He has something much better planned for you.  Seriously consider your situation.  If there is anything about it that goes contrary to God’s word, chances are it’s going wrong because God is trying to close that door to keep you away from that bad thing.

Sometimes God closes the door on relationships too.  Some people may look good on the surface, they may even be very good people, but they aren’t good for you.  God knows better than you what is in their hearts, so trust Him to lead you to people that are good for you.  It never hurts to ask God to give you good, healthy & Bible believing friends in your life.  If you’re looking for a romantic partner, this is an especially good prayer to pray.  Being a believer married to an unbeliever is not a good place to be!

Sometimes God uses difficult circumstances to teach us things.  We learn forgiveness when we are wronged by other people.  When we go through hard times, we learn mercy for others who go through similar hard times.  When someone tells us what we did hurt them, we learn humility.  None of these situations are fun at the time, but they do help us to learn some pretty valuable things.

There are also times God uses difficult circumstances to punish us.  Hebrews 12:6-7 in the Amplified Bible says, “For the Lord disciplines and corrects those whom He loves, And He punishes every son whom He receives and welcomes [to His heart].”  7You must submit to [correction for the purpose of] discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”  Obviously those times aren’t exactly pleasant, but they can be beneficial.  For example, your spouse tells you that they are upset about how disrespectfully your family treats them, but in spite of seeing evidence your spouse is correct, you ignore your family’s behavior or worse yet, make excuses for it.  Then you get a new coworker.  This person is very disrespectful to you.  They push you aside so they can deal with customers instead, or talk badly about you to other coworkers maybe even your boss.  You go to your boss with your concerns.  The boss tells you he doesn’t see this behavior as a problem or you have to let this go because this person has some sort of personal problems.  The way you feel in that situation mirrors much how your spouse feels.  God still loves you, but He is punishing you for treating your spouse badly.  Also, He uses this as a good learning experience.  Now that you know how your spouse feels, you are going to be more sensitive the next time they come to you with a complaint about your family’s disrespectful behavior.

The next time you are in a situation that is challenging or painful, I want to encourage you to try your best not to be so distracted by it that you ignore God.  Instead, turn to Him.  Ask what is going on, what is He trying to tell you & to help you get through it.  He absolutely will do answer your prayers!

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Filed under Mental Health, Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life

“Christian” Narcissists

Over the last few years, I have heard the term “Christian narcissists” used repeatedly.  It is used to describe people who are either active in their church or professing to be Christians, yet they also exhibit narcissistic behavior.  Most commonly, these people are covert narcissists who revel in appearing martyr like in their life, giving to & doing for those who are “beneath” them somehow.  They even can be leaders in their church who are perceived as good people, yet are subtly controlling church members & possibly even abusing their own families.

The problem is there is no such thing as a Christian narcissist.  There are narcissists who pretend to be good & even Godly people, but they truly aren’t Christians.  Labeling these people as such turns people away from Christianity.

These narcissists may be a bit hard to spot at first.  They are busy doing for others, even sometimes at their own expense.  They may donate large sums of money or spend great amounts of time volunteering.  People speak highly of them for all that they do for others.  Yet, if you look just below the surface, you can see hints that show these people aren’t the saints they portray themselves to be.

First & foremost, true Christians openly trust in Jesus as the Messiah, their personal Savior, & their behavior reflects that.  “Christian narcissists” may claim to trust Him, but their behavior says otherwise.  They don’t readily admit that they have a need for a Savior.  They don’t talk much God & his goodness.  They turn the topic back to themselves.  They don’t have any interest in doing God’s will for their lives.

“Christian narcissists” see themselves as more special to God than other people.  They don’t credit answers to their prayers to God’s love or kindness, but instead imply or even say outright it’s because He loves them more than other people.  They make it sound like the only reason God answers their prayers & loves them is because they are such wonderful, special people. The Bible says that God doesn’t show favoritism in Romans 2:11, so clearly they’re wrong about that.

Another sign of a “Christian narcissist” is that this person doesn’t brag about God, only themselves.  If you listen to these people long enough, you will see that their so called humility is peppered with bragging.  They subtly mention how they have been such a blessing to someone else by taking them food or giving money during their times of need.  They even may brag about the accomplishments of someone else in a way that makes them appear to deserve credit.  But, they definitely don’t say things like, “You won’t believe what God has done for me!”  “I am so grateful that God did this thing for me!”  “I couldn’t have done that thing without God helping me or showing me what to do!”  The Bible says that we are to brag not of our wisdom or other things, but only about God. Jeremiah 9:23-24 in the New International Bible says, “This is what the Lord says:  “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:  that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.””

If you speak to someone who claims to be a Christian yet demonstrates narcissistic behaviors like this, it’s certain you are dealing with a narcissist, not a Christian. 

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Biblical Meekness  Not Necessarily What You Think

Most people are well aware of Matthew 5:5 where Jesus states that the meek are blessed because they will inherit the earth. How many people know what it means to be truly meek though?

Most people hear the word meek & think of someone who is timid, mousy & always extremely submissive. This is actually a more accurate definition of the word “weak” than “meek.” As the saying goes, “don’t mistake my meekness for weakness.”

The original meaning for the word meek in Greek was a description of war horses, believe it or not. War horses were supposed to be extremely powerful yet also very willing to submit to those in authority over them. This is power that is kept in check.

In people, true meekness manifests in a person well aware of the power that they have as children of God, but they choose to submit to Him, doing His will for their life. 1 Corinthians 10:23 in the Amplified translation sums up the way this person thinks quite well: “All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].” The truly meek are also far from cowardly, trusting in God completely even when in their darkest hours.

Jesus was a perfect example of living with meekness while He was on the earth. He obviously possessed great power as evidenced by so many miracles He performed, yet in spite of His position & power, He never used it improperly. He lived His life submitted to God, willing to do anything He was asked to do, even to the point of death on the cross. And, when He knew the cross was going to happen soon, in spite of His fear & desire not to do it, He trusted God either to prevent it from happening or enabling Him to face it.

At the same time, Jesus was no pushover. Matthew 21:12 tells the story of Jesus driving out the moneychangers from the temple, & the Amplified translation says He drove them out “with force.” He also had no problems calling out people on their bad behavior, even the highly esteemed scribes & Pharisees. He called them hypocrites many times, & even called them “white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones” because although they appeared Godly, their hearts were full of things that went against God.

Christians are supposed to imitate Jesus in their behavior, & that includes being meek. If you aren’t sure exactly what this means to you, I would like to offer you some food for thought today.

Being meek means standing up for what is right in the right way. This doesn’t have to mean a big production. It means living a life of integrity, doing is right & what needs to be done. It also simply can mean saying, “This is wrong.” That sort of statement said to someone suffering at the hands of another can be life changing.

Being meek means being gentle in interacting with other people. It means you don’t have to be heard while quieting others, & allowing others to speak to you without fear of your judgment or criticism.

Being meek means accepting your limitations. That doesn’t mean you don’t try to improve yourself, of course. It means that you know you can’t do everything, & that is OK.

Being meek means realizing you don’t know everything, & admitting that rather than pretending to know everything. People respect those who are genuine. Even if they may be frustrated you don’t have the answer they’re looking for, they will respect you more for admitting than they would if you pretended to know.

Meekness is a truly undervalued attribute. Why not be someone who helps bring this admirable quality into the lives of those you love, & be a good example of meekness?

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.)

What Makes A Good Person Truly Good

So many people think that being a good person means that someone is very caring, willing to do anything for anyone, sacrifice anything & everything of themselves to others which includes those who treat them badly, & someone who never says or thinks anything negatively of other people.

The truth is that this isn’t the definition of a good person.  This is the definition of a doormat.  A person like this is going to be used & abused.  Naturally this will make many people who try to be good people think being a good person is a waste of time & sets them up for being mistreated.  They naturally prefer not to be so called “good people” over being treated so badly, & who can blame them?

Let’s consider what it’s like to be a good person rather than a doormat that people claim is a good person.

A good person is realistic.  If someone mistreats people, is arrogant, entitled or deliberately hurts other people, a good person recognizes these things & treats that person accordingly, even if that means eliminating that person from their life.

A good person also has standards.  They don’t tolerate just anything.  They give their best to others in every area of their lives, & they expect others to do the same thing.

A good person has boundaries.  They will respect your space, wants & needs, & act accordingly. They also expect you to return the favor to them.  If you cross certain boundaries with them, they won’t hesitate to call you out on it in a respectful way.  They also will care for you & watch out for you but they also have no problem saying no when they believe it is best to do so.

A good person shows respect to everyone, but also expects others to respect them in return.  This isn’t because they demand people respect them, but because they are aware that they are worthy of respect.

A good person is patient.  This doesn’t mean that they are weak nor are they willing to tolerate others using them.

A good person is very compassionate, but is not naive.  They will be very kind & gentle with a person, but if they realize that person is trying to use or abuse them, they won’t tolerate it.

A good person always will encourage you & build you up.  That doesn’t mean that they will tolerate you trying to tear them down as a way to build yourself up, however.

A good person will tell a person what they need to hear, even when it’s not necessarily what they want to hear because showing others God’s love is more important to them than building up their ego.

In short, being a good person isn’t what many people assume it is.  A good person can be truly good without being willing to tolerate nonsense or abuse.

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My New Shop On Facebook Is Open!

I have just created a shop on Facebook! Most of my books are currently available for purchase in there, & soon all will be. I opened it to make a central location where all of my books can be purchased, & is easy to find. Each link on the books takes you to a universal link, showing you all places where it is available for purchase.

My shop is connected to my business page, The Butterfly Project, which is why my name doesn’t appear on the shop, just FYI.

I hope you like the shop! Come check it out at the link below:

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My Podcasts

As I mentioned some time back, I decided to give up making videos & just go with podcasts. I have added them to a bunch of different podcast sites, so I thought I would share them here for those of you who are a fan of podcasts. I hope you decide to check them out sometime! If your favorite podcast site isn’t on this list, then please let me know. I’ll try to add it.

Amazon Music:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/636257ca-b20e-4c80-b0c4-76c6da81d4b6/cynthia-bailey-rug

Anchor By Spotify:

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cynthia-bailey-rug/id1632080095

Castbox:

Google Podcasts:

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8yNWViYmY5OC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==

iheartradio:

Overcast:

https://overcast.fm/itunes1519449931/cynthia-bailey-rug

Player fm:

https://player.fm/series/cynthia-bailey-rug

Pocketcasts:

https://pca.st/3qvsb30s

Podbean:

https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/32zdh-12d533/Cynthia-Bailey-Rug-Podcast

RadioPublic:

Soundcloud:

Spotify:

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/cynthia-baileyrug

Tune In:

https://tunein.com/podcasts/Religion–Spirituality-Podcas/Cynthia-Bailey-Rug-p1728318/

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.)

10% Off My Print Books

My publisher is offering 10% off my print books until August 5, 2022 when you use code MAKER10 at checkout.

My books can be found at the link below..

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Making Assumptions About People

It’s amazing to me the assumptions that people often make about each other.  Some people assume someone with tattoos & piercings can’t hold down a good job, for example.  Others assume women with blonde hair are all ditzy.  There are so many other assumptions that are equally ridiculous.

I’ve always been an introvert, & pretty quiet.  Around people I’m very close to, I can be fairly chatty, but those I’m not comfortable with or don’t really know well, I’m very quiet.  This has led to some pretty stupid assumptions about me from other people.  One of my sisters in-law told my husband I obviously think I’m better than their family & treat them like “trash.”  The accusation was astonishing since I really tried hard for years to be civil & even nice to her.  Guessing any of you introverts reading this have experienced similar accusations.  People often think being quiet means we feel superior. Some even think it means we’re depressed, whether or not we truly are depressed.

With the prominence of social media, assumptions have become even more commonplace.  Since many people share so much on there, they assume everyone else does.  If a person doesn’t share a lot, ridiculous assumptions are made.  In my life, people seem to think I must not have much to do each day since I rarely share anything personal.  I just see no point in sharing my plans for whatever I plan to do each day.  I also don’t complain about my physical & mental health concerns, so people assume they aren’t a daily struggle.  People also see pictures on social media of a happy couple or playing children & assume these people are living happy, care free lives.  They don’t realize that there could be a lot of pain hiding behind those smiles.

Assuming things about other people is so unwise.  People may be absolutely nothing like what you assume they are.  That big burly biker guy may have a baby at home that makes him melt into a big teddy bear every time he sees her.  That woman in your church who appears so pious & volunteers constantly may be abusing her husband & children at home.  

Making assumptions is so bad that the Bible discusses the topic in several locations.  All Scriptures are from the Amplified Bible.

  • I Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
  • Proverbs 18:2  “A [closed-minded] fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his personal opinions [unwittingly displaying his self-indulgence and his stupidity].”
  • John 7:24 “Do not judge by appearance [superficially and arrogantly], but judge fairly and righteously.”
  • James 4:11 “Believers, do not speak against or slander one another. He who speaks [self-righteously] against a brother or judges his brother [hypocritically], speaks against the Law and judges the Law. If you judge the Law, you are not a doer of the Law but a judge of it.”

The next time you are tempted to make an assumption about someone, I would urge you not to do that.  God frowns upon it pretty seriously, as these Scriptures point out.  Even if He didn’t, by behaving this way, you may be missing out on knowing some pretty awesome people.  Matthew 10:16 says, “Listen carefully: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves [have no self-serving agenda].”  I believe these words to be incredibly wise when dealing with people.  Spot the signs that they are either safe or unsafe & act accordingly.  Yet also be willing to be kind to everyone.

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There May Be A Demonic Element To Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is a term used to describe the very uncomfortable feeling of having two conflicting beliefs.  As an example, let’s say you believe that your mother was a caring, loving mother & you also believe that any problems in that relationship are completely your fault.  Then one day you learn that she is a covert narcissist.  In such a situation, facing the truth feels awful.  You grew up believing this one thing & were comfortable with it, even if it was painful thinking you were the problem in the relationship.  Learning this isn’t true creates anxiety & confusion about what is really true.

In speaking with a follower of my work one day on the topic of cognitive dysfunction, she mentioned that she believes it can be demonic.  At first, this concept sounds very far fetched, I realize, but the more we spoke, the more it made sense.

As Kavya said, when faced with the truth, many people’s core beliefs come back & they believe the lies instead.  This could be evidence of demons at work.  This also could be people operating in the spirit of fear, because they’re afraid to step out of their comfort zone of what is familiar.  So afraid, in fact, they are content to stay with what’s familiar even when it’s wrong & toxic.  That spirit of fear comes in & keeps them in toxic situations.

Another good point she made is evil is against rational thinking.  These spirits want to stunt growth.  They want to keep people miserable & down.  So when people lack good rational thought skills, there can be a demonic influence. 

Evil is also against truth.  They worked through the people in Jesus’ time on earth to hide the knowledge of who He was & what He could do.  That hasn’t changed today.  They instill doubt in people or find ways to make the Gospel message sound impossible.  They also work to hide the truth about other things.  Creating cognitive dissonance easily could be a part of that.  They make people so despondent that they return to their original beliefs, in spite of how obviously wrong they were & how miserable they were while functioning in those beliefs. 

Even good, caring people can end up supporting narcissists because they lack critical thinking skills.  They don’t recognize that there is evil influencing them.  They go with their feelings rather than facing the evidence in front of them, because the truth is making them so incredibly uncomfortable.  Doing this opens the door for evil to work in their minds & lives.  After all, who wants to face the fact that someone they are close to or even love is an abusive monster?  No one!  Doing that is extremely hard & painful!  Some people lack the strength & courage to face painful truths, so instead, they take the easy way out.  They continue in their denial out of fear of facing that pain.  I believe that fear can open a door for evil to enter their hearts, because sometimes in this situation, even a good person can end up so focused on protecting their denial that they mistreat & abuse a victim. 

If you experience cognitive dissonance like many victims of narcissistic abuse do, then please keep this in mind.  I don’t think it is always demonic, but it has that potential to be.  Protect yourself, & face the truth, even when it’s hard.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health

Receiving God’s Comfort

God created people to need relationships not only with Him but with each other.  A part of that is the need for consolation & comfort during the tough times.

There were many times shortly after the death of my mother that I received God’s comfort.  It was such a horrific time, undoubtedly the hardest of my life.  I was overwhelmed with everything I had to do as well as processing her death & the fact she chose me to be her personal representative after her & my father saying otherwise years prior.  His comfort & strength enabled me to do the impossible at that time & come out on the other side even stronger than I went into the situation.  It gave me a new appreciation for His comfort.  It also showed me that people, even the most well meaning ones, can’t offer the kind of comfort that God can.

People can’t understand your pain exactly.  Even if they have experienced similar situations to yours, you are different people, which means you feel pain & process it differently.  God created you, so naturally He knows you better than any human can.  This also means He understands your pain better than anyone else.  He has experienced things that humans have such as rejection, betrayal, being taken for granted & more.  His comfort comes from the place of truly understanding how you feel, which is something no human being can manage.

God’s comfort is truly something special.  His comfort creates a deep intimacy with Him, a feeling of truly meshing with Him, because you know He truly understands.  He also gently gives words of encouragement in ways no human can, such as by calling your attention to song lyrics or a Scripture that you never thought of quite this way before.  There is also comfort in knowing that He is working in your situation on your behalf.  This deep intimacy with God comes from no means other than allowing Him to comfort you.  It is one good thing that comes from a pain that causes you to run to Him for comfort. 

Another good thing that comes from that is once you have received His comfort, you become more able to offer comfort to other hurting people.  Your empathy has increased & naturally you want to help others.  You also have experience in receiving God’s comfort & can help other people to do the same.  2 Corinthians 1:3-5 in the New International Bible says, 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

If you haven’t asked God to comfort you before, why not try it now?  There are plenty of verses in the Bible that show He is willing to do it.  In the New International Translation, Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  And, Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  Clearly, God wants to comfort you.  Let Him!  You won’t be sorry!

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

10% Off All Print Books!

My print book publisher is offering a sale.. 10% off all print versions of my books until March 4, 2022. Simply use code DIRECT10 at checkout.

Books can be found at the link below…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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My Newest Mini Book & Crochet Pattern Are Available

One question I have been asked with disturbing regularity over the years is “How can I honor my narcissistic parent?” I decided to write my newest mini book, “How To Honor Abusive Parents” to answer that question. It includes practical advice as well as plenty of Scripture to help the reader understand what it truly means to honor parents, even abusive ones. The ebook can be found here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1133395

And, because thinking about issues like Narcissistic Personality Disorder all the time is unhealthy, I also took some down time & created a new crochet pattern. It’s a scarf made from a pattern that resembles kittens. It works up fast & is super cute, if I can brag a little. That pattern ebook can be found here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1129714

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20% Off ALL Print Books!

My publisher turns 20 this year, & as a way to celebrate, they’re offering 20% off print book purchases until February 11, 2022. All you have to do to take advantage is use code 20FOR20 at checkout.

My books can be found at this link:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism, Writing

Struggling To Feel Loved By God After Narcissistic Abuse

After surviving narcissistic abuse at the hands of parents, when victims turn to God, many struggle with feeling that God truly loves them.  It’s not that they think God is a liar or they doubt what the Bible says.  Many have strong faith & believe every word in the Bible to be the word of God.  They also believe that God loves & forgives other people.  Yet, they struggle believing this is true for them.  This is because of the narcissistic abuse they endured.

Narcissistic abuse at any age by any person is a terrible thing, but it seems to have the most profound effect on those who grew up with narcissistic parents.  Children look to their parents to be their everything – their source of love, nurturing, food, shelter & more.  Basically parents are like a god to children.  When that “god” is abusive, it distorts a person’s reality terribly.  One of those ways is making them believe that authority figures aren’t trustworthy, even God.

Not to mention, children’s brains aren’t fully developed.  This means they process things differently than adults do.  Adults realize that someone being abusive towards them doesn’t mean something is wrong with them.  It means something is wrong with the abusive person.  Children don’t realize that.  They think when someone abuses them, in particular a parent, that means something must be wrong with them to make that parent treat them badly.   This is a huge blow to one’s self esteem, & makes them believe they are unlovable.    

When that child grows up & decides to turn their life over to God, that doesn’t mean their dysfunction vanishes.  That dysfunction is still a part of their life, & it will show up in their relationship with God. 

Although that adult child may truly love God, chances are excellent that he or she doesn’t completely trust God.  God being a father figure means that people relate to Him as they did their earthly father.  That relationship automatically starts out mirroring the relationship a person has with their earthly father, good or bad.  This is a wonderful thing for those with great relationships with their father.  It’s a terrible thing for those with dysfunctional or even abusive relationships with their father.  They may love God, but fail to trust Him completely, exactly as they did their earthly father. 

People also relate to God as a child relates to a parent in many ways.  The abused child as an adult will relate to God as they did when they related to their parents when they were children.  If they felt that they were unlovable as children, they will struggle to believe God loves them.  After all, if a person’s own parents didn’t love them, how could anyone else, including God, right?  WRONG! 

Although it can be extremely hard to believe for a child of narcissistic parents, God does love you & He also forgives you for everything!  It seems impossible, but it’s true. 

If you are struggling in this area, the best thing I know to tell you to do is to get to know God even better.  I don’t care if you’ve been a Christian for 50 years, do it anyway!  Spend time in prayer, ask Him to talk to you then listen to what He says, read the Bible, read books, listen to Christian music.. whatever helps you feel closer to your Heavenly Father, do it.  The more you get to know Him, the more you will realize He truly does love you & forgive you.  Psalm 27:10 is one of my favorite Bible verses, & is an excellent one to remember.  It says that although my parents forsake me, God will adopt me.  Isn’t that amazing?!  Clearly He loves you so much more than you realize, & His love for you will never change!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

15% Off ALL My Print Books!

My publisher is having a 15% off sale until January 28, 2022. Simply enter code IMAGINE15 at checkout.

My books can be found at the link below…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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God Plans Our Lives With Love

There is no denying that live can be exceedingly difficult sometimes. My readers know this as well if not better than anyone due to experiences with narcissists. This can make anyone wonder where was God during the abuse? Did He even care about what was happening to me? Does He really love me? The answers are He was right with you, He did care & was deeply upset about it & yes, He absolutely loves you!

I was considering writing my own post on this topic but found this one on an amazing blog that explains this topic much better than I can. I decided to share that post instead, & I hope it blesses you tremendously! The link to the post is below.

I did want to say one thing though… for years now, Romans 8:28 has helped me during the especially tough times & I think it may help you as well…

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

Romans 8:28 AMP

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My New Alexa Skills

I’ve gotten a bit creative lately. I made some amazon skills. The skills are “Scriptures On Narcissism,” “Narcissism Facts” & “Biblical Affirmations. There are links to all three on my website at:

https://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com/home/alexa-skills/

These skills work with any Alexa device & are totally free. I don’t make any profit from them.

If there are any other skills you think would be interesting, I’d love to hear your ideas!

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About Perspective Of Good & Bad Experiences

I love watching the old public tv show, “The Joy Of Painting” with Bob Ross.  He was an incredibly talented painter, & there is something so calming about watching him create his beautiful works of art.  I also especially enjoy the bits of wisdom he shared through each episode.  Not only bits of wisdom about painting, but about life in general. 

I was watching his show recently & he was painting a beautiful mountain scene in the fall.  During the course of painting, Mr. Ross said some interesting things.

The first thing he mentioned was as he was painting a lake.  To create dimension, he used dark & light colors together.  He said something like, “Don’t conceal all your dark areas or the painting will become flat.”  Immediately it made me think of the overly positive people of the world.  I don’t mean the average person who tries to be positive, but the ones who refuse to say anything negative or see anything but the good in people.  When people don’t admit that sometimes things are less than perfect & happy, they often are much the same way- flat.  They express only one mood- happy.  Honestly, I find this incredibly annoying to be around.  Not that I want to be around people who are always miserable either.  Somewhere in the middle is so much more comfortable & I think also healthy.  People who are real & honest are the most interesting people, in my opinion anyway, probably because they have many different aspects to their personalities & different moods.  They’re also more comfortable to be around, because you know they won’t judge you if you are anything less than completely positive & happy.  Many overly positive people also can come across very invalidating & shaming.  For example, if you’re laid up with a broken leg, it’s ok to be upset about that.  The unhealthy, overly positive type of person will say something like you should be glad it happened because now you have the time off to catch up on whatever hobbies you enjoy.  That comment can make you feel badly for being upset that you are in a miserable situation, even though you have every right to be upset.

Another interesting thing he mentioned was that you need darkness to show the light.  How true is that!  If you think of it in the natural realm, if you light up an average light bulb, it will look very different in the dark than it will on a sunny day.  In the dark, even a very dim bulb can look extremely bright.  Yet, in the sunlight, even the brightest bulb will appear pretty dim.  The contrast of dark & light always makes light appear brighter.

The same things happen with good & bad things in life.  The bad, or darker, things that happen make you appreciate the good, or lighter, things.  If you have only good things happen, you can count on not appreciating anything good that happens to you simply because that is the norm for you.  There is nothing to compare your experiences to that will make them appear worth appreciating.  If there is a balance of both good & bad things, however, the bad things truly will make you appreciate the good things.  The good things will look so much better in contrast to the bad, just like that dim light bulb will look especially bright in a very dark room.

It was kinda strange, realizing these things from watching a man paint a pretty landscape, but I hope you found them interesting like I did.  And, his show can be found on YouTube & I think it was Pluto TV where I found it.  Very worth checking out if you have the chance!

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About My Print Books

I recently received an email from my print book publisher. There are difficulties with supply chain delays, so they recommend customers expect to receive their books in at least 3 weeks. Usually, the time is much shorter.

I was thinking about this & how it can affect my readers, I had some thoughts.

  • Ebooks are cheaper, easier to hide from abusers, & are ready for reading the moment they are purchased. They’re a great option if money is tight, you live with your abuser, don’t want him or her to know you’re reading such material, &/or are in a rush to read a book. I urge you to consider buying the ebook version of my books rather than print if you are in such situations. They can be found at this link: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug
  • If you still prefer the print copy, you have two options:
    • If you’re not in a hurry, you can simply order from my website as normal. Just be prepared for possible delays. They can be ordered at the following link: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug
    • I always have copies of most of my books to have available for anyone who would like to buy them directly from me. I can sell & ship them myself at a slightly lower price than my publisher because as the author, I get a discount on my books. I also can ship via media mail (slow but cheap) or priority mail (fast but more expensive), buyer’s choice. Simply contact me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com & let me know what book(s) you would like. I’ll figure out your price & get back to you asap. I also added this information to my website so it’ll be readily available & easier to find than this blog post. Just visit my site at any time at: www.CynthiaBaileyRug,com

Thank you for your patience & understanding! It is very appreciated!!

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Ways The Spirit Of Fear Can Manifest

No matter how deep a person’s faith, we all make mistakes sometimes.  But, when a person’s actions don’t match their proclamation of faith more than they do match, it can be very hard to believe they are truly Christians.  In praying about this topic, God showed me some very interesting things.

A person truly can be born again, yet not act the part sometimes.  They can trust in the Gospel message, yet not trust that God wants to help them in their day to day life.

This can happen with someone who has serious health issues.  I once belonged to a traumatic brain injury support group online.  I wasn’t in the group long, because I noticed many members were intensely selfish, even ones who claimed to be Christians.  They weren’t obviously out to use & abuse other people like narcissists are, but clearly if something wasn’t about them, they weren’t interested. 

Christians also may not behave like Christians if they have a distrust of parent figures.  When a person was raised by at least one narcissistic parent, they most likely have a deep fear of all parental figures.  When you grew up with parents who were not only unsafe, but blatantly cruel & had no concern for your own needs, you will not trust God to be the loving father He claims to be in the Bible. 

Both of these issues can make even a Christian behave badly, & they both boil down to fear. 

Whether someone is sick, handicapped or raised by abusive parents, their core issue with God is they don’t trust Him.  When a person has serious health problems, they become self absorbed.  They suddenly have to consider their needs often & have to rely on other people to meet certain needs for the first time.  It can be very easy to become afraid of these needs not being met.

Or, they may feel that their earthly mother or father didn’t care about their needs, so why would anyone, even their Heavenly Father?  After all, He’s a parent & parents are selfish & don’t care about their children.  They fear others not being there for them or loving them, & often don’t even realize they feel this way.

When not confronted, fear can open the door for the spirit of fear.  2 Timothy 1:7 in the Amplified Bible states, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].”  Considering this verse gave me some insight into why some professing Christians don’t act like Christians.  They function with a spirit of fear.

I noticed after surviving carbon monoxide poisoning I was heading in this direction.  I had no idea what to expect from my health, thanks to the doctors giving me no information.  I also realized quickly that I had brain damage.  I had to learn quickly what was happening.  The more I learned, the more afraid I got.  The more afraid I got, the more selfish I got & the more afraid I got & the cycle continued.  Thankfully joining the TBI support group I mentioned previously made me realize how I felt, & how that was not how I wanted to be.  I spent more time in prayer, got closer to God & changed my ways.  I also learned to accept & work with my health issues.

Maybe you know someone in a similar position.  Someone operating with a spirit of fear can be incredibly painful to deal with, I know, but before you end the relationship, please consider what I have said.  Talk to the person.  Maybe they will see the problem & make appropriate changes.  If not, they may be too consumed with this spirit of fear.  Pray for them, asking God to free them from this spirit.  Reassure the person you love them & are there for them.  Granted, some people are too comfortable in their dysfunction to want change.  Some folks are also narcissists who refuse to change.  But, the average Christian person who is gripped by fear may respond very well.  Give it a try!  You can help them & also your relationship with that person.

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Narcissists Won’t Hesitate To Attempt To Destroy Anyone Who Tries To Correct Them

I wish I could take credit for this post, but I can’t. It’s from the blog, Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism. I highly recommend following it! It’s very informative & everything is backed up by Scripture.

That being said, please read this post. If you are debating confronting the narcissist in your life, then you especially need to read it!

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God Meets Us Where We Are

A phrase came to mind recently.  God meets us where we are.

What I mean is that God has ways to connect with us however & whenever reach us best at any particular time.  For example, when I turned my life over to Him, I was dabbling in the occult & witchcraft.  I was told the witchcraft I was interested in was based on the Bible, so since I wanted to be good at it, I figured I should read the Bible & learn.  What I learned first was God did NOT approve of witchcraft.  Then I learned about the love & saving power of Jesus.  Until that time, I had never opened a Bible or knew anything about Jesus.  I was taught that if you’re good you go to Heaven, bad you go to Hell, without even a real definition of what good & bad were.  I didn’t believe in God or if by some chance He did exist, I certainly wanted nothing to do with Him.  That was until I started reading the Bible for the first time.  That was the first time God met me where I was, even though it was a terrible, dark place.

There have been other times too, that He has reached me in some awful place.  During times of intense darkness & despair, He has given me signs that all would be fine by sending butterflies, a specific song began to play or I’d see a message by the side of the road that says something that felt as if He was speaking directly to me.  Every single time, those times have offered incredible comfort.  They strengthened me to keep pressing on, no matter how bleak things looked or how impossible things seemed.

I want to encourage you to know that God can do the same for you.  He will meet you where you are as He has done with me.  All you have to do is be aware. 

I realize there are people who don’t believe God speaks to people, that it only happened during Biblical times.  I can tell you from personal experience that isn’t the case!  He may or may not speak audibly, but He still speaks to His children all the time.  He may speak in the still, small voice spoken of in Kings 19:12.  He may speak in other ways, too & there are plenty of examples of that in the Bible.  God spoke to Moses in the form of a burning bush in Exodus 3:2, & to Job in the form of a whirlwind in Job 38:1.  He speaks often in dreams, visions & in the form of the Holy Spirit to the hearts of those who want to hear Him.  He used a dove to communicate to Noah & a donkey to Balaam.  He even sent a dove to the baptism of Jesus.  He speaks in whatever way the person He is speaking to will best recognize His voice.

God also gives signs as I mentioned.  Remember the story of Gideon in Judges 6?  He asked God to give him two signs that he had heard God’s voice correctly, & God did so.  For Gideon, that sign involved a fleece.  For me, as I mentioned, butterflies are a sign God uses to speak to me often.  Dragonflies are too. 

If you are currently struggling & unsure if you are hearing from God, then why not ask Him to help you?  Ask Him to help you to hear His voice better, to give you clarity & yes, even send you signs if you want.  He answered Gideon’s prayer when he asked for a sign, & since God is no respecter of persons according to Acts 10:34, He will answer your prayer.  Then, just wait for something special to happen!  When He speaks to you or sends you a sign, you will have no doubt it’s Him!

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When Narcissists Say You Should Just Turn The Other Cheek

Narcissists with any knowledge of the Bible whatsoever, no matter how minimal, often portray themselves as all knowing on the topic.  They use their so called wisdom to help them abuse their victims.  One way they do this is by convincing their victims that if they are truly Christians, they will forgive & forget anything the abuser says & does to them.  They may mention how “real” Christians always turn the other cheek.  They refer to Matthew 5:38-39 to prove their point. In the English Standard Version, these verses say, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” As usual, they take this completely out of context.  When these verses are said alone, without reading the rest of the chapter or at the very least, the surrounding verses, they do sound like you should simply forgive & forget, & tolerate abuse.  Nothing could be further from the truth, however!

Matthew 7:6 also in the English Standard Version says, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”  There are a couple of interesting points about this Scripture .  First, dogs & pigs are used to represent those who detest holy, sacred things in the Bible.  Second, giving these unholy ones things that are valuable & holy means they will turn on you & attack you. 

Doesn’t this sound like a narcissist when you forgive & forget?  When you forgive & forget, they don’t change their ways.  If anything, they get worse. They know they can do whatever they like without having to face any consequences. 

If a narcissist tells you that you need to forgive & forget or else you’re not a good Christian (whatever that means to them), then please remember this!  They are only saying such things to try to force you to tolerate their abuse.  It’s not true!  There is absolutely nothing good, holy or Godly about tolerating abuse, period!

What is good, holy & Godly is exercising wisdom when you must deal with narcissists.  Have & enforce good, healthy boundaries.  No, the narcissist won’t like that, but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong or bad or whatever else they say you are.  By limiting or even eliminating their chance to abuse you, you are not only protecting yourself, but you’re also helping them.  They need to know there are consequences for their behavior, & they can’t always treat people any old way they want to & get away with that forever.  Boundaries also remove the opportunity for the narcissist to sin.  That is always a good thing!

It also is good, holy & Godly to remember what the narcissist has done.  Knowledge truly is power.  Whether you allow the narcissist in your life or cast them out of it, never forget what they have done!  Remembering it keeps you on guard against them & other people who behave the same way.  It also helps you to spot toxic people easily, so you won’t end up in other abusive relationships.  You also have knowledge that can help someone who doesn’t have that same knowledge.  You can give them such a gift by sharing that knowledge with them. 

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25% Off My Ebooks Until July 31, 2021 & 10% Off My Print Books Until July 23, 2021

The month long sale on my ebooks is still going, but will be ending at the end of this month. Don’t forget to check it out. Click the link below to see all of my ebooks..

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

Or, if you prefer print books, you can use code CREATOR10 at checkout until July 23, 2021. Click the link below to see my print books…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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15% Off Sale On My Print Books!

My publisher is offering 15% off all of my print books until July 16, 2021. Simply use code SUMMER15 at checkout.

Click the link below to see all of my print books..

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Inspiring Story!

I read this yesterday & thought it was worth sharing with you, Dear Readers. I hope you enjoy it! It’s the story of an atheist who turned to God after a near death experience. It is a long read, but worth every moment. I hope you enjoy it!

https://anewlife256599767.wordpress.com/2021/07/04/hey-yall-2/comment-page-1/#comment-9683

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Long Term Anger About Abuse Is Normal!

When you’re healing from abuse, many people act like you should get to the point that nothing about what your abuser did bothers you in the slightest.  They say that’s a sign of healing.  I say that is completely wrong.

To start with, how can any human being not be bothered in the slighted by any life altering event, whether the event is good or bad?  Anything that drastically affects a person is going to affect them forever to some degree.  In my experience I have found the best I can hope for regarding such life altering & traumatic things is to get to the point where remembering them feels much like remembering a bad dream.  It feels somewhat upsetting but not devastating.  One example is this: Some of you who have read my work for a while may remember when I nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2015.  That was a terrifying event that has left me with life altering physical & mental struggles.  Yet, it also brought me some really good changes in my personality as a result of the brain damage & even drew me closer to God.  As grateful as I am for those positive changes, that doesn’t negate the fact that thinking about how close to death I came that day still shakes me up to some degree even all these years later.  I believe most people are similar to me in this feeling like they’re remembering a bad dream is as good as it gets for healing from the most extreme traumas & situations.

To be totally unaffected by abuse also makes abuse not so bad.  It minimizes it & even normalizes it.  After all, when someone does something normal, you don’t think twice about it or feel any sort of emotions connected to that normal thing.  Do you feel any emotion when your friend says they bought a loaf of bread while at the grocery store?  No, because that is normal.  If a person feels that way same way about abuse, then abuse becomes just as acceptable as buying a loaf of bread. 

There should always be anger about abuse!  It’s called righteous indignation & is mentioned in the Bible.

Righteous indignation means to be angry about injustice, malice & even abuse.  It is anger felt about something that offends your morals.  Consider the story of Jesus overturning the tables of the moneychangers in the temple in Matthew 21:12-13.  He was angry that the temple was no longer a house of prayer but a den of robbers thanks to the behavior of these people.  That anger was hardly sinful!  It was correct!  It motivated Jesus to get their attention & make changes.  And, he did so without hurting anyone!

When feeling angry, consider your anger.  Most likely, you aren’t only angry at your abuser for hurting you, but at the wrongness & unfairness of the abuse.  There is nothing wrong with that anger at all!  You can use that anger to motivate you to make positive changes in your life, such as end the relationship with the abuser.  You can use it to raise awareness of what you have endured.  This righteous indignation is a very good thing provided you use it constructively rather than destructively.

If you have been in this situation & feel badly for still feeling some degree of anger about the abuse you have endured, please consider what I have said.  It is good to release the anger at the perpetrator as you are able to do so.  Carrying around anger & unforgiveness is unhealthy in the long term.  However, maintaining that righteous indignation about the painful & abusive acts committed on you is perfectly normal & yes, even Godly.  Don’t let other people convince you otherwise!

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Biggest Sale Of The Year On My Ebooks & Great Sale On Print Books!

From July 1-31, 2021, my publisher is offering 25% off all of my ebooks.  It’s a great time to buy any of them you have been thinking about getting for a low price!

You can find all of my ebooks at the link below:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

If you prefer print, there is a sale going on now until July 2, 2021 for 15% off! Use code SHELFCARE15 at checkout. They can be found at the link below:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Love Isn’t Always Warm & Fuzzy

When most people hear the word love, they think of how they feel around someone they love dearly.  Whether that person is a love interest, parent, child, other relative or friend, the person thinking of them will feel warm, affectionate, caring feelings.  But, love isn’t always about those nice feelings.

Sometimes, love feels nothing like the nice feelings I described earlier.  Sometimes love is not enabling behavior the other person enjoys but is unhealthy.  Sometimes love is not allowing the other person to use you.  Sometimes love involves arguments.  Sometimes, love even involves ending relationships.  Unfortunately, many people don’t realize these things, & think love is only about the good feelings, giving in, & even tolerating abuse.

The last few months of my father’s life, I learned that is exactly what my family thought.   They clearly thought I hated him & my mother because I hadn’t spoken to them for several months at that time.  They obviously believed that I was living my life with no thought of them whatsoever.

What my family didn’t know & never would believe anyway is no contact with my parents was incredibly hard on me.  Reaching the decision to end those relationships was gut wrenching.  I took a lot of time to consider it, & said a lot of prayers.  I prayed daily for wisdom for probably a couple of years before going no contact with them, & after, I prayed daily for God to take care of them & to save them.

In John 15:17 in the Amplified translation, the Bible states, “This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another.”  There is no mention in there about the warm, fuzzy feelings, because sometimes, there simply aren’t any.  Consider what I just told you about my situation with my parents.  There wasn’t a single warm fuzzy feeling for them for many years, & many less at the end of their lives.  But, that didn’t mean I didn’t love them.  The difference is I loved them God’s way, by doing what it says in John 15:17, seeking the best for them.  It was incredibly hard severing ties with them, but I knew in my heart it was necessary for my mental health & for them.  And, as it turns out, my father finally turned to God at the very end of his life because I wouldn’t go see him.  I’m not sure if my mother’s motivations were the same or not, but she also turned to God at the very end of her life.  When you love people as God wants, it’s not always easy but it is for the best.

If you have been told that you aren’t loving abusive people right because you have started to set boundaries or even gone no contact, or even if not but you feel like you’re being unloving for such things, this post is for you today.   You need to know that there is nothing good or Godly about letting people use & abuse you.  In fact, it goes against God’s wishes!

Remember, if you truly love someone, you may not feel all the warm, fuzzy feelings for them.  Sometimes love is best done from a distance, & praying quietly behind the scenes.  And sometimes those prayers include saying things like, “Father God, I’m sorry my heart isn’t in this.  I’m only praying for her because I know You want me to!”  If that is all you can manage to do, there is nothing wrong with that!  God truly honors those prayers, the ones you’re only praying because you know He wants you to pray.  He applauds your effort & obedience while also dealing with that other person in ways you may not know about.

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About Anger After Trauma

Often people who are very forgiveness centered seem to think that to forgive someone means that whatever they did to you no longer triggers any negative feelings. You will be completely immune to any upset on that topic.  For example, if your narcissistic mother constantly told you that you were fat, & someone else calls you fat, if you have truly forgiven your mother, some people think that means that this other person’s words won’t bother you in the slightest. 

I really don’t believe that is true.  You can forgive someone yet still be angered by certain behaviors.

Forgiving someone doesn’t always mean you have forgiven & forgotten what they did, & everything is now unicorns & rainbows.  Forgiveness can mean that you release any expectations on them of apologizing & trying to make it up to you for wronging you.  While doing this is a good thing, it doesn’t automatically release the anger or hurt you feel that their actions caused.

Even if you have managed to release all anger & hurt you feel at the person who has hurt or even abused you, their actions still can be very upsetting.  Let’s say for example you were robbed at knifepoint.  You have recovered from any physical injuries & have forgiven the robber.  Maybe you even learned he was out of work at the time & trying to get money to feed his starving children, so you felt some compassion for him with his plight.  Do you really think that all of this would make you ok with anyone robbing anyone at knifepoint?  No!  It definitely wouldn’t, because you know this behavior is wrong, no matter what the story behind it is.  You also know how it feels to be in that position, the terror & anger it stirs up in you, & wouldn’t wish that on anyone.  If you were in this situation & heard of someone else being through what you have, you naturally would be upset, no matter how much or little anger you feel towards the person who hurt you.

Honestly, I think it is not only normal to be upset by reminders but healthy.

Not being bothered by reminders of your trauma would mean you are desensitized to it.  How is being desensitized to trauma good?  It doesn’t help you, & may in fact hurt you.  If you’re numb to the trauma you experienced, that probably means that you have ignored it for a very long time rather than process it.  That is not even close to mentally healthy!   

Being desensitized to trauma doesn’t help others who have experienced trauma either.  If you think what they say was a traumatic experience wasn’t a big deal, & you tell them that, it will instill shame in them.  They will become ashamed of being so affected by something so “trivial”.  They will wonder what is wrong with them, why they were so traumatized by something that other people wouldn’t be bothered by.  They could begin to shut down & ignore their pain rather than deal with it.  Doing this could lead to a plethora of problems such as physical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or digestive disorders.  It also could make them turn to substance abuse, shopping addiction or promiscuity rather than face the fact that they are hurting.

Dear Reader, please know that no matter how much you have forgiven your abuser, things that they have done will continue to upset & even anger you, & that is totally normal!  In fact, let the emotions motivate you!  Become an advocate against the type of abuse or trauma you experienced.  Talk about it, so people know that these things are wrong.  If you feel bold, write a blog or a book.  See what you can to do get laws changed so other abusers like yours will go to jail.  Good truly can come from those feelings, & remember, they aren’t proof that you are unforgiving or bitter.  Far from it.  They prove you’re a person with a wise & compassionate heart. 

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