Love Tested… Nakedness

Nakedness is one of the first real tests of REAL love. Once two infatuated people move closer towards a complete union; they get naked and learn one another. You can tell a lot about a person based on how they treat you when you are “naked.”

Throughout the process of incarceration, the soul begins to shed it’s coverings. It becomes bare and exposed. Its insecurities, weaknesses, scars and unattractive spots are clear to see.

The same is true of being the loved one of an incarcerated person. Your fears, vulnerabilities to the perceptions of others and the true measure of your strengths and weaknesses become evident as this journey unfolds.

You can also tell a great deal about the depth and strength of your love relationship based upon how you both respond to nakedness. A friend once taught me that “it is never wise to get naked in front of someone who won’t get naked in front of you.” How willing are you to truly undress in front of your loved one; to reveal your ugliest spots and to see theirs? How do you love your loved one when they are soulfully butt naked before you?

**This entry was co-written by the C.W. Fleming**

Introducing…C.W. Fleming!

As you know, The Strength to Love was birthed out of the journey of being a “prison wife.” After nearly four years of weathering storms, overcoming emotions and daily deciding to endure; I wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences in hopes of strengthening someone else to love a little harder.

From the very beginning of our journey, my husband and I have had a vision and have made a faith-filled declaration that our situation will not define nor limit us in any way. We are committed to working hard to defy odds and to demonstrating the principle of “love conquering” and winning from exactly where we are located!

As such, we gave been visioning, planning and working; and we are excitedly preparing to debut our first novel as a husband and wife writing team and today, we proudly introduce C.W. FLEMING!

In the final weeks leading up to the release of Elephant Valley:Love Tested, we have decided to share some of the thoughts and insights into love….as the writing duo that we are. The posts that we will be sharing are uniquely expressed in the voices of both “C” (Candace) and “W” (Willie).

We are very excited about the things that are yet to come….IN SPITE OF AND AGAINST ALL ODDS and we hope that they somehow add to your life. We know that there truly is power and strength in love!

Stay tuned and stay connected!

Rebuilding with the Ruins…

If you have never failed miserably or been completely disappointed with how a situation turned out….just keep living!

On the other hand, if you have experienced the bitter blow of hurt, failure, disappointment or shattered dreams- then you probably know like I know- that it is painful when you have to stand face to face with your ruins.

Ruins are what is left after a structure has been torn down or torn apart.
They are the torn apart pieces of what was once complete; the fragments that are left over once the “whole” has fallen into a state that is beyond repair.

That “whole” could be your family, finances, health, relationships, dream or goals in life that started out one way; but somehow has ended up weathered, torn….or ruined.
So, now what? What do you do?

Well I have learned (and am yet learning) that I have a choice to build again! And the beautiful irony is that I can rebuild….so that it is better!

I have learned (and am yet learning) that the ruins are now at my disposal to become better.

You see, the ruins are a not only a painful reminder of what was, but if I look at them; study them and learn from them…they are also a forecast of what can be.
If I didn’t succeed the first time, and the dream was shattered…. I must consider why didn’t I succeed? What could I have done differently?

Then I must study it…..learn from it….and use that new knowledge to build again.
Is it easy? Absolutely not! But the alternative is standing in the midst of my ruins and remaining stuck there.

As I examine my life today, I realize that I am standing in front of a wall that is truly being rebuilt- one fragmented piece at a time.
Four years ago, devastation hit my household and it shook many things in my world to the core.
Today, the foundation of that same household has been re-established and it is stronger than it was before.

Many of the hopes, plans and dreams that I had didn’t play out exactly like I thought they would. But today, I have new hope, visions and aspirations that I had never even considered. And one day at a time, I see them coming to pass. In fact, today my husband and I stand at the door of publishing our first novel…in spite of our circumstance!

I truly have been carefully examining my ruins. I understand some of them, and many of them I don’t. But I am determined to use every one of them to rebuild!

I pray that you are encouraged today that no matter how messed up your circumstance may be, know that it is not beyond repair. Keep believing and keep building!