No More Masks

The following words come from a journal entry dated 2/28/13.

We’ve been talking about transformation and wearing masks lately at Navs and it makes me happy for what will be eventually. The joy that will come when Jesus reigns on earth again… but also when this mask is thrown away and people know the real me. When I can boldly proclaim to the world: I am Natasha Rulason. I am in love with my Heavenly Father. And while you may not approve of this, I like boys, and I also like girls. And you know what? Jesus still LOVES me.

I reread these words earlier this week and wanted to share them with you because that joy has arrived. I’m finding new joys each day and many of them are due to the fact that I’ve shed various masks and started leaning in, started really becoming the person Jesus made me to be.

Thanks for being part of this journey, friends.

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Not God, but Jesus

I’ve had a lot of thoughts lately and my journal is filling up quickly because I just need to let them out. These are some thoughts I put on the pages today and since I’m aiming to be vulnerable with a lot of areas of my life, I wanted to share those thoughts with you. Here they are.


I can’t start a prayer with “Dear God.” I can’t say I’ll dial in or hang up. I can’t call Him my Daddy or say that I’m Daddy’s little girl.

If we talk about faith, I’m not going to tell you about what God has been doing in my life; I’m gonna tell you stories about what Jesus is doing in and through me (sometimes I’ll even be possessive and call him “my Jesus”).

If I post an Instagram from one of my journals, it’ll likely be about Yahweh.

To me, “Dear God” is like writing a letter to Santa. To me, dialing in and hanging up sounds like a joke. To me, Daddy is what I said when I was young, not how I can ever speak to my Father God.

I relate better to Jesus than God likely because Jesus was a MAN. God is still hard for me to grasp because He is this Being I can never fully understand. But Jesus, he was made fun of and betrayed. Jesus faced some of the same things I face today. Jesus gets me.

Today, I’m just glad that I can live and grow with Yahweh, my Jesus in the same way that you can live and grow with God, your Daddy.

Redefining Bravery

I’m currently in the middle of the 40 Day Challenge with Overcome the Lie. Each day, we get an email from my girl Ashley with a challenge for that specific day and man, does this girl know exactly what I need to hear. From today’s email:

“We’ve been spending a lot of time over at OTL talking about bravery, fearlessness and courage. And that bravery is not what we have always defined it as. That sometimes bravery is getting up in the morning. Sometimes bravery is looking in the mirror, lingering and seeing your beauty. That sometimes bravery is letting people go, laughing at the days to come or even speaking up.”

This week has been really difficult and full of life knocking me down over and over again. I spent the entire day yesterday in my room with the door locked, trying to ignore the world. That’s all I wanted to do again today.

But I didn’t because sometimes you need to look past your crummy circumstances and find a reason to be brave.

So today, bravery looked like getting out of bed; wearing a tshirt and TOMS while walking to the mailbox because it was 68 freaking degrees in the middle of February; taking a long shower; listening to old-school Nelly from 2002; wearing my favorite jeans and a rockin’ band shirt; taking shameless selfies in the bathroom; and rediscovering an old Spotify playlist full of songs that tug at my heartstrings.

Sara Bareilles wants to see you be brave. So does Jesus. So do I.

How are you redefining bravery today?

For more information about the Overcome the Lie community, check out their website. To join the 40 Day Challenge (it’s never too late!), email info@overcomethelie.org.

Speaking Up

Vulnerability is one of my biggest fears. If you’ve read some of my recent posts, you’re well aware of this.

But why? What holds me back from being open about my story, from sharing who I am?

How people will react. What people will think of me. What will change. Acceptance.

But I’m done.

I’m done worrying about what you think of me. I’m done staying quiet out of fear. I’m done feeling shame about my own life. I’m done keeping to myself instead of sharing my feelings. I’m done remaining silent when your words are hurtful.

I am speaking up.

I’m letting go of this shame. I’m accepting freedom because Christ has set me free from the chains of fear. I’m telling my story because you need to hear it. I’m putting aside my fears because Yahweh makes me brave.

Teach Me to Grieve

On Tuesday, I started attending a grief support group at my church. It lasts thirteen weeks and I know it will be beneficial, but it is scary. Really freaking scary.

There’s roughly 10-12 people and I’m almost positive every single one of them is at least twice my age. It’s strange because some of them are there because they are grieving the loss of a child my age.

I’m not good at being open with people, especially people I don’t know well (or at all). Vulnerability is a serious weakness of mine, so being in this group is a pretty big step outside my comfort zone.

In addition to meeting each week, we also have a “workbook” that walks us through personal reflection for five of the six days between our sessions. Each day’s reflection includes a prayer, just a few sentences to engage with God. The prayer for tonight really resonated with me.

“God, the pain of my grief is pressing in on all sides, and sometimes I can’t breathe with the force of it. Lift me into Your arms. Comfort me with Your presence, and teach me to grieve.” (emphasis mine)

The first part is painfully true. Literally. On some of the worst days, I struggle to get oxygen into my lungs. I lay in bed and yell at God over and over until noise no longer comes out. I sit in this overwhelming silence longing for comfort and community.

The last part really hit me and is something I’m going to try to really focus on over the next twelve weeks. I think part of why I’m still where I am is that I’ve tried moving forward in the grieving process, but it’s come with so much force.

I’m in a season of learning about humility. Sometimes I try to shift the focus from Jesus back to me and what is occurring in my life… and then I have a really long day that ends with a 45 minute drive home, a worship playlist full of truth, and straight-up ugly crying because He is so much more than I can ever comprehend.

So I’m stepping back, taking things slow, listening in, and waiting for His voice to teach me to grieve.

Cursing on Sunday

This happened today.

church tweet

We started a new sermon series today about what it means to be a Christian. My pastor prefaced his sermon by saying that this series would be straight from the Word, straight-up truth from the Bible. He said he knew we would not necessarily enjoy hearing what was going to be preached over the next few months. And he told us to get over it.

I understand that there is a time and place to be real with people about what God says in the Bible. And I understand that the Bible isn’t meant to be easy to understand. And I understand that the Bible isn’t meant to reflect our opinions, but that they should be rooted in the truths we find in Scripture.

But here we were, maybe five minutes into the sermon, and I was contemplating going home. And when I thought that preface was bad enough, my pastor began his sermon by saying today’s message was meant for Christian men, and more specifically, Christian husbands.

I don’t know why I stayed.

As a single, feminist, LGBT Christian woman, what was I supposed to get out of this sermon meant for Christian husbands?

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the end of the sermon turned to abortion and human trafficking. According to my pastor, abortion is a result of women who don’t receive Christlike love and trafficking is fueled by men who don’t love like Christ.

I know that I attend a church that is pro-life and not the kindest when it comes to homosexuality and I know full well that it is my choice to continue attending. You may be thinking, “if you know these things and you don’t agree with the beliefs of your church, why don’t you find a church that shares your beliefs?” For the answer to that question, I’ll send you here because Sarah and Lindsey have put my thoughts into words better than I probably could have.

And just in case I haven’t ruffled your Christian feathers enough with the words of this post, I’ll leave you with the last thoughts I wrote in my journal before leaving church this afternoon:

this sermon basically felt like bullshit… to be honest.