Who we are is infinitely more than what we do, who we Love, how we vote, or anything else on the surface. Heart in Formation is a place to lose labels, dump religion, get a bit crazy and hopefully find gems (or just glitter) on a path to further grasping our identity, divinity, and the hope that there is a God that Is Love.
Through the blog I try to share from the heart of a matter and always hope to expose a misunderstood– and, in my experience often misrepresented God. The more we understand “I Am”, the closer we get to who “We Are,”—divine offspring destined for outrageous love and unfathomable freedom.
Love without Freedom isn’t really Love, and Freedom without Love is Horror— not unlike much of what we see in the world today…
I’m Jasmine– people-passionate, rainbow-spotting, hopeful wall-breaker. I’ve come to terms with my love for Drum& Bass, am passionate (understatement) about social justice, #NeverAgain, #NoH8, and child/youth empowerment and advocacy. Want to have coffee and cause trouble? (or“holy mischief,” as Shane Claiborne calls it: ). ❤
I’m also heartbroken/activated on child protection, particularly regarding sexual abuse, which affects a whopping 1 in 3 children in some way. Boys and Girls. Just look in a classroom, do the math, and consider what darkness is keeping this topic with spin-off effects like depression, self harm, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, criminality, aggression, divorce, debt, and suicide— taboo.
About the Heart in Formation graphic:
The photo comes from Antelope Canyon in Arizona and shows a mesmerizing “slot” canyon formed by erosion and flooding. In Dutch, the word “slot” means “lock” and I consider our hearts like this. Precious, unique and sometimes we lose the key.
I hope you feel good or even fire up here. And if you take nothing else, let it be this: Never doubt your value, never doubt you are loved. Never doubt you have a purpose and that this whole world needs you–even, couldn’t do without you–after all, of all the probability working against, You made it!
Do you want to know a bit about me?
I’m very sensitive, and my posts are sometimes unorthodox, from writing about God and movies like Frozen, Brave and Speed Racer, but also how you can hear God through a Justin Bieber track. I’m also a self-proclaimed recovering Pharisee. A what? A ‘think you see up close, but you’re actually far, you see?’ Basically, I learned a hard way it’s possible to be crazy about God and the Bible, but totally (TOTALLY) miss *His Heart.
*And I use He and His as simple pronouns for God, but fully recognize God with male and female ‘identity,’ for lack of a better word, as evidenced through the bible and most blatantly by humanity. If you want to ponder more, 2-pt post, “Transgender God” here.)
Are you a Misfit? I don’t always fit, particularly in “church” settings (a sign of the times? John 16:2), but I recognize the whole planet as my “church.”
[If you too ever felt like a mis-fit, or were told you needed to get it together before going (back) to church, check any of these:
-‘Are you the Black Sheep? God gets you..’
-‘The day we realize our identity’
-‘Pearl & Mother of Pearl, You are God’s Magnum Opus’]
I’ve got a husband that mirrors some of what I know/adore about God: total acceptance, strength, sacrifice, and BadAss-ness (who knew an Omega male was a thing?!). We’ve got littles that are wild, strong, inquisitive and loud—qualities we never try to shhhsh, though the world and our own shortcomings can’t always cope. (I highly recommend earbuds to help parents keep sane when end of day ruckus draws near) 😉
These kids, like nothing else, expose the hidden in our hearts, from outrageous, unconditional love and sacrifice, and an innate drive to protect, to less pleasant things like impatience, strong anger, value questions of things versus people, communication flaws–am I my child’s defender or prosecutor…, etc.
Check the #WildKidsWildGod series – 31 Days Looking into God’s Heart for more reflections on a Misunderstood God/Parent and our divine identity.
The story of @JeromeElam changed my life and I wrote The Ax at the Root–Why I Cut Down my Grapevine–or, why the whole world should end if just one child suffers, in response. To any who was ever abused in any way, I am your fierce ally.
~ 1 in 3 kids experience some form of sexual abuse, so it’s not just a problem in Thai brothels or the fate of runaway teens, but the plight of regular kids in regular neighborhoods. Data show it’s getting worse, e.g. boosted by smart phones… But don’t lose hope or courage, we can and must fight!
@LittleWarriors offers a free online workshop, “Prevent It – Taking Action to S.T.O.P. Child Sexual abuse” here. You can also look online to book or request the (free) in-person workshop, a “must” for anyone with, or working with children/youth.
Participants learn about:
-4 types of sexual abuse and healthy sexual development,
-how to talk to kids about these things
-concerning signals to watch out for in children, and concerning behaviors to note in adults (e.g. grooming)
-how, where, when to make a report.
Want to learn more? Check the Little Warriors site. The in-person workshop is also available in Europe!
Finally, don’t believe it can’t happen in your town or youth-serving organisation or institution.
~95% of offenders are known to the children, 95% of this abuse is never reported, and if a child discloses, in well over 95% of the cases it is TRUE. It is a flat-out Myth (or intentional perversion of justice) that children are lying about this.
Your prayers are needed in the fight–whether it be for the children, or those involved in committing the abuse (directly or indirectly, e.g. those who transport kids for abuse), or the justice systems that seem to not grasp the seriousness of the crime, or have the capacity to handle cases, or sometimes there is evidence of flat-out corruption and involvement in the abuse. Connect on Twitter @JasNotes, or via email at jasmine.jasnotes[at]gmail.com if you want to be more involved. ❤