The Dear Miley Aftermath

Well, I certainly did not expect this. If someone had told me that I would write a blog that would go viral in a matter of 24 hours, I would have deemed it impossible. Of course, the idea of having millions of people reading the words you penned yourself and taking time out of their day to share something you created is (almost) every person’s dream. But generally it stays just that. A dream.

You see, when I sat down to write my letter to Miley, I had no expectations. Well, I take that back. I expected my mom, nana, and maybe a few Facebook friends to share my blog and maybe to get a few “likes” but that was it. My excitement and hopes surely went up when Johnjay from The Johnjay and Rich Morning Show shared my blog. I got so excited that I told my best friend that maybe I could get up to 1000 views! And that I did. In a matter of 20 minutes.

Reading over the comments on the post has been encouraging, frustrating, and amusing all at the same time. At first, they were all generally positive, and then once I hit 10k views, they changed tone just a bit. Here are some of the rumors and speculations that I would like to address:

1. Some assumed that I wrote the letter for money because I am “a poor, needy, and sad” ministry school student who needs funding. While yes, it is true that I am about to start my second year of ministry school and I do need funding, getting money was never my intention. I had written a blog a few months ago about my school and fundraising, however that was written directly for family and friends who wanted to donate. Want to donate? Amazing! Don’t want to donate? There really would be no hurt feelings because again, that was never my intention. I wouldn’t ever expect a stranger to.

2. A few readers claimed that I was part of the Illuminati and hired by Mr. President himself to distract the general public from the current events in Syria. That one was amusing. I mean, I would be honored if Obama wanted to hire me to write a blog and if that were the case then I surely would not need to raise money to go back to school. So sadly, I must confess that that rumor is not true. Obama, please let me know if you need any assistance in the future. If I am too busy to help, let me refer you to Katie Cannon. She’s hilarious and brilliant and just as obsessed with the illuminati as I am.

3. Hundreds of readers felt that I was being a “holy roller” and was judging Miley. First off, I want to sincerely apologize if the letter came across that way. My heart was never to offend, but to encourage. I am deeply sorry to those who were offended. I really am a fan of Miley Cyrus and I am excited to see that she has managed to sustain a career in a city where stars fade quickly. Miley has an amazing life ahead of her and I send her my greatest blessings!

4. I understand that I used very extreme examples of what can happen to people when they abuse drugs and alcohol. I am aware that not every person ends up a college dropout, a stripper, or a heroin addict. The point that I was trying to make is that nothing good comes from the party lifestyle and the risks of disaster are severely heightened. My heart was for people to be aware of the risk they are taking when making decisions, whether good or bad.

5. And lastly, many readers assumed that I either was the world famous singer, Rihanna, or that I was using her name to attract attention. Neither are true. My real birth given name is Rihanna and has been since 1986 and no, I cannot give Jay-Z your YouTube channel or mixtape to listen to. If I do ever have the opportunity to meet Jay-Z, I will try to keep you in mind but most likely I will be too obsessed trying to meet Beyonce that I will probably forget about your mix-tape all together. It’s nothing personal. Sasha Fierce does that to you.

So there you have it. This experience of Internet insanity was exciting, unexpected, and very much appreciated. Thank you so much for reading my blog and for sharing on twitter, Facebook, and whatever other social media sites are out there! You all definitely made this something that I will remember forever.

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A Letter To Miley Cyrus

Dear Miley,

I, as well as millions of Americans, sat in amazement as I watched your VMA performance. No, you are not the first artist to grind on a backup dancer (however you may be the first to grind on a teddy bear but who knows), sing about your life of partying and drug abuse, or to strip down to your chonies. It’s all been done before. So why is your performance evoking such media attention, anger, amusement, and general confusion? Well, I have yet to speak to the millions of viewers personally, but here are a few of my guesses.

1. Yes, we all know that you are NOT Hannah Montana and we are all aware that you are of legal age to make your own decisions and mistakes. I am sincerely sorry that at such a young age you were forced to adhere to the pressure of being a role model when no 12 year old can really comprehend what that even means. I am sorry that you became a media product and you had to remain marketable despite your growth and interest in finding yourself. You were forced to push your own dreams and desires aside in order to keep the money rolling in for everyone around you. I have never been a child star and I will not pretend to know what that is like. However, you’ve been on a constant quest to prove how very not Hannah Montana you are and after a while it gets old. I mean, look at Britney. She too wanted to prove that she was no longer a girl but not yet a woman so she just penned a nice, catchy ballad about it, recorded a music video of herself singing it over a mountain top and moved on (insert sarcasm).The point is, instead of parading your rebellion 24/7, try letting us into your world and your heart.

2. I know I mentioned that a 12 year old should never have to be a role model, but as you have been very clear, you are no longer 12. You are 20. Therefore, you now have the responsibility of being a role model. So when you sing about getting a line in the bathroom, getting high on Molly, shaking it like you’re at a strip club, and doing whatever you want, you are sending the wrong message to girls everywhere. You see, you are the exception to the general rule. When you do those things, you get media attention. You get paid for club appearances. You get checks in the mail for your iTunes downloads. But when our girls do that, they get pregnant. They get addicted to heroin and end up on the streets leaving their family and friends in constant fear and grief over them. They drop out of school. They get kicked out of college and lose their scholarships. So, they really do end up shaking it at a strip club in order to pay the rent for themselves and their deadbeat boyfriends who can’t hold a job because of their alcohol dependency. You see, your music paints a false picture of what reality is. Partying and using drugs doesn’t lead to number one hits and nights filled with champagne, limo service, paparazzi attention and Snoop Dogg (lion?) calling you his homie. It leads to disaster, poverty, heartache and unfortunately for some, death.

3. Watching you perform makes me sad. I don’t mean that in the passive-aggressive “I don’t like you so I’m going to call you pathetic to make you feel stupid” kind of way. It really makes me feel sad because you have one of the greatest voices in the music industry. You have talent beyond what you may even know and you just cannot sustain a long term career using sex and drugs as your only muse. I know that there is something deeper in that little heart of yours and that’s what the world wants to see.

So Miley, you will probably never read this because I think the most hits my blog has had in a day is 400 (and yes I felt cool), but this is my prayer for you. I pray that you stop dancing with Molly. I pray that if you insist on wearing nude colored shorts that you consider picking a pair that leaves more to the imagination. I pray that you really do find yourself the way you so desperately want to. I pray that you live a LONG life full of fulfilled dreams, adventures, and love. I pray that you find your way back home and rediscover the heart that got you to where you are. I really am rooting for you. All the best.

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The Fight for Beauty Recap

A little over a week ago Freedom City Church held an event created around my testimony. The whole experience was surreal because I literally have never been able to imagine a life without an eating disorder and I definitely never imagined speaking to other girls about my recovery from it.

It brought back to memory all the countless times people would ask me if I ever wanted to help other girls once I got free and my answer was always no. If I ever got free, I would want nothing else to do with it. I would want it to be done. Forever.

While I was speaking, I had this overwhelming sense of God’s transforming power because as I told my story, I felt as though I was talking about a different person, a different life. Bulimia is so far gone from who I am now that I no longer identity myself as the same girl that hated herself for so long. I felt like I was living out a Genesis 50:20 prophecy that I had always hoped for but never really believed I could have.

You tried to hurt me, but God used your evil for good to save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20

After the event, someone had pointed out that the tools I used to recover could be applied to battle any addiction. So whether your addiction is food, alcohol, drugs, pornography, an eating disorder or eating pottery (I actually saw that on My Strange Addiction!) then I encourage you to use some of the tools I shared in my testimony consistently. They included affirmations, declarations, praying the Bible over myself, and I even made a note card that I kept with me. On one side I wrote the way my life would look in 5 years if I did recover and on the other side I wrote what it would look like in 5 years if I didn’t recover. Special thanks to Katie Cannon for snapping a picture of the affirmations I passed out. I used her photo below.

If you want to watch my testimony, you can do so here. I cry a bit and my voice shakes a whole lot, but overall I think I got my message across.

Don’t give up on the promises that God has for you. It really is always worth walking through the darkness once you finally get to the other side.

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Fight For Beauty- a must watch

Welcome to Katie's Party!

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Last week, I had the privilege of attended an event called “Fight For Beauty,” hosted by Freedom City Church. Rihanna was sharing her story of recovery from, freedom from , and triumph over an eating disorder. I was crying before she even took the mic. You can watch it in it’s entirely here:

It spurred on lots of good conversations afterwards and really challenged me to think about how I treat my self and my body. I think I’m still processing the night. Rihanna shared about how she recorded affirmations and listened to them every night. (I know! That freaks me out to even hear that!) but here they are…so so so powerful. Dangl

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I’ve been slowly trying to read them in my car every day in the morning. I’ve already passed them along to a few friends. And now I share them with you! Such a cool night. Watch…

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