Thursday, November 2, 2017

Easier to Run






It is always easier to runaway from our problems than to face them head on.  Facing our problems can be messy and challenging.  So what do we turn to?  We turn to worldly things so we can escape the darkness that engulfs us.  We turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, codependency, etc.  We try to drown out our problems.  Those things can help temporarily; but in the long run, they make things worse.  We're so desperate to escape we'll practically sell our souls to the world.  It's not easy facing our problems head on.

I have talked about my mental health issues and addictions in my blog, but yesterday, I found out I have another addiction.  I went to a sleep specialist yesterday and she said I'm too dependent on sleeping pills.  I asked if she meant I was addicted to them and she said yes.  This was a hard pill to swallow - literally.  I've been taking sleeping pills since the sixth grade, and I've always taken them as prescribed (except I did overdose on them once - it was a suicide attempt though).  So she is taking me off the sleeping pills (she thinks I have sleep apnea).

This was difficult for me to hear; I have two other addictions (self-harm and binge eating) I'm working on, plus codependency; now I have this?  It seems like no matter how much I try to get better, no matter how much I try to fight the darkness inside me, something else comes up that adds to the darkness.  I've been ready to throw in the towel and just give up.  What's the point in fighting anymore?  I have NO fight left!

I have no fight left....but you know who does?  Jesus.  I can't fight this on my own, but he can!  He can heal the wounds.  He can help me carry my burdens.  He can help me with my addictions. 




The LORD himself will fight for you.  Just stay calm.

Exodus 14:14



I'm not facing these problems alone.  He is with me and will fight for me when I have no fight left. I just need to depend on him.  Alone, I am weak.  But he is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).  In fact, the previous verse (2 Corinthians 12:9) says:


Each time he (God) said, "My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness...."



In our weakness, he is strong.  He fights for us.

It's easier to run from our problems (notice I didn't say it was easy) than to face them head on.  When we face them though, we become stronger.  Believe me, I want to run!  I'm often tempted to take the easier path.  I don't know anyone who is a bigger coward than I am.  When it comes to fight vs flight mode, I am ALWAYS in flight mode.  Lately I haven't even been arguing to defend myself with any accusations because I frankly don't have the energy to fight them anymore.  I have to depend on Christ to help me get through this though.

We all have our weaknesses, but let's face them together!




Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Being Silent

I'm very protective over my family and friends.  When someone goes after them, get out of the way because I'm a bull in a china shop!  I may not be very protective over myself, but I am to those I care about.

Recently, my husband and I have been watching a woman on YouTube.  She is CONSTANTLY saying how she's been having prophecy dreams of the rapture and "signs" (such as a song playing about flying away?).  She says she's not "setting dates," but then will set a date (like recently she said November 1-3 is when the "rapture" is supposed to happen).  I don't know why we watch her.  Anyway, her "predictions" are always wrong.  She even DEMANDS God to do stuff, which to my husband and me, is a very dangerous thing to do.

Anyway, my husband goes through her comments and will debate (he is a debater after all).  Without getting into too many details (because this has been going on since August), one thing led after another and she insulted him about being a terrible husband, is a Pharisee, and doesn't take care of the gifts he's been given - then blocked him.  When I heard this I was furious!  It didn't bother him at all, but to say such things about him greatly angers me.  I was like, "Who the heck does she think she is to say such things?!"  I was going to sleep on it and make a comment on her video, defending my husband's honor.  I did not sleep well (I never do, but it was worse than usual last night), but I prayed about it.  I wanted to go about it in love, but I was so angry I didn't know what to say.

Throughout the entire night, the verses that kept coming to mind was when Jesus was silent when the Pharisees question him.  He would not speak when they were throwing out false accusations.  He could've defended himself, but he chose to be silent.



Proverbs 11:12

He who despises his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding keeps silent.



Proverbs 10:19

When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.



As much as I want to defend my husband's honor, I get the feeling that I need to be silent in this situation.  I hate it when Christians attack other Christians.  First off, they shouldn't be attacking anyone - period.  Debating is different than attacking.  You can debate and be cordial at the same time.  But attacking is completely different, and I've seen it WAY too many times where other "believers" attack each other.  We are supposed to be united together!  We are the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27)!  How can an arm attack another arm?  How can a leg attack another leg?  This makes completely no sense to me.  On top of which, they PUBLICLY attack each other!  Disagreeing is one thing, but to attack someone is completely wrong!  It's unthinkable!  How can we show other people the love of Christ, when we can't even show it to each other?

I've had to learn to be silent though.  This doesn't mean I won't defend people - on the contrary!  I will defend those who cannot defend themselves!  But there is a time when it is wiser to be silent.  As much as I don't want to be silent, I know it's better for me to because what may come out of my mouth (or typing) could be really ugly and make matters worse.  I've been really working on holding my tongue, and though I do not do this perfectly, I think this is one of those times I need to be silent....




Monday, October 30, 2017

Here I am! Here I am!

I was looking through my Bible this morning and noticed something interesting in Isaiah.  It's a bit long though so I won't be including the entire thing (it's a couple chapters).  But I would like to point out some things.

In Isaiah 63, starting in verse 15, he asks God where he is.


LORD, look down from heaven; look from your holy, glorious home and see us.  Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf?  Where are your mercy and compassion now?

19  Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.


Then chapter 65, God answers.  The first verse says


"I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.  I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.  I said 'Here I am, here I am!" to a nation that did not call on my name.

All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.  But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes."


Then he starts listing the evils they've been doing, such as "insulting me in my face by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens" and "at night they go out among the graves, worshiping the dead."


It got me wondering, "How many times have I wondered where God was, but didn't think about what could be the reason for him being silent.  Now don't get me wrong, sometimes the silence isn't because we did something wrong.


1 Kings 19:12

And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.  And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.


Sometimes in silence God shows up, other times he doesn't.  Like when I cut myself.  Afterwards, I often feel like God is further away from me.  I know he's not, but he feels that way.  What if the reason he feels far away is because I'm not looking for him to help me?  Here he is saying "Here I am, here I am!"  But I'm so consumed in my own darkness, that I fail to see he's right there wanting to help me, just waiting for me to ask him for help?

What about you in your own life?  Are you so consumed in the problems of the world, that you fail to see God is right there, just waiting for you to ask him for help?




Sunday, October 29, 2017

Trusting God

What does it mean to trust God?


Trust does not come easy for me typically, and once it's broken, it's going to take a REALLY long time to regain it.  I'm a very loyal person, and I will walk through fire for you; but if you betray me I won't forget it.  That is something I have to work on though.

Anyway, how do we trust God?  I mean, we can't see him, we can't hear him, we can't touch him; how can we trust someone who feels like he may not even exist at times?  This is something I've really struggled with myself, for a LONG time.  I've been really pondering it lately though.  So many times my first response is to run away, and if I can't do that I shake my fist, "Why are you doing this to me God?  Why are you doing this to he/she/them?"

With my depression and anxiety being so severe lately, I have felt very much alone.  I know I'm not alone; I mean, I have my husband, my family, my friends, and most of all God - yet I feel like no one can truly help me with these struggles.  I hate to admit this, but last week, I nearly attempted suicide - twice.  It's something I'm not proud of.  I really thought about it, and at one point I got things ready to do it.  Just before I was going to go through with it, I started to cry.  I thought about my husband - how would he respond if he saw me like that?  My parents who are away at the moment, how would they respond if they heard about it?  I just couldn't do it.

It's not easy, but I've been really trying to put my trust in Christ through all of this.  I pray, "God, this is all out of my control.  You know my pain and anguish, so I'm going to rely on you to take care of me.  I'm placing everything in your hands - including my life.  Only you can truly rescue me.  Whatever your will is through all of this, let your will be done.  I will put my trust in you (Psalm 31:14) because you are my God and you are in control."

This is not an easy prayer, but it is one out of desperation.  I have to keep relying on God every time I think about things, every time I cry, every time I feel empty or even apathetic.  He's going to do whatever he wants whether I like it or not, so I might as well let him right?  But I have to realize that whatever happens, it's for my good.  A verse my husband often tells me is Romans 8:28:



And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.



Whatever trials we are going through, we need to put our trust in God. He won't abandon us (Hebrews 13:5), and he will be there with us through them.  No matter how hopeless things may seem, he will work things for your good.   Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You believe in God; believe also in me." (John 14:1)

When Jesus was in the garden about to be arrested, he asked the Father, "Please, let this cup (God's wrath) pass from me!  But not my will, your will be done."  Jesus was about to go through the most painful thing a person could ever experience.  Betrayed, tortured, alone (including being separated from the Father), and ultimately died a brutal death.  He wasn't a masochist, he didn't WANT to experience such pain, but he wanted to do what the Father wanted him to do.  He trusted the Father to do what was good.  He was willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the world.

Your will be done....

Really think about it.  Do you trust God enough that you're willing to say, "Even if I don't like the outcome, I will trust you in all this.  It's what you want, not what I want."  Obviously, none of us are going to do this perfectly.  No one can 100% trust God, 100% of the time.  He gets that.  I know for myself though, this is something I am really working on.  What about you?  Can you trust him?




Saturday, October 28, 2017

Overcome






Everyone faces a different battle than another person.  We really can't understand EXACTLY what another person is going through unless you've been in EXACTLY their shoes.  We can understand they're in pain, anxious, depressed, etc.  But to understand exactly what they're going through, we can't.  Everyone faces a different battle....

A lot has happened in the 27 years I've been around.  A lot of mental illnesses, abuse, three suicide attempts (and nearly several others), bullying, and addiction.  I've had to overcome a lot - and I still have a LONG ways to go to overcome other things.  Life is never easy for anyone.

Someone told me because I don't work I have it easy.  The grass is always greener on the other side, friends.  No one has an easy life.  We all have chains we can't seem to be able to break free from.  We can break through them though - but not on our own.  We don't have the strength to break the chains.  We need a Savior - someone who IS strong enough to break those chains! 

Lately my depression and anxiety have been very severe, and it feels like things aren't going to get better (but I know eventually they will).  I feel hopeless...and desperate to get out.  I've got to hang on to Jesus though, because if anyone can help get me through this, it's Him.  Any trial I have overcome, it's been because of Jesus. 




He will listen to the prayers of the destitute.  He will not reject their pleas.

Psalm 102:17




Often times we feel like we're alone in what we're facing - but we're not.  We have a God who understands what we've been through.  We have a God who loves us SO much, that he will never leave us as we are.  He frees us from our chains.  We have to hang onto Him.  He will help you overcome your trials.  We may not escape the trials, but he will help us through them.  A youth pastor once said we can't go around it, we can't go over it, we can't dig under it, and we can't just sit there.  We have to go through it, and Jesus will help us through it.  We can OVERCOME it!  Not by our own power, but by the grace of God!

We are all broken people, thankfully we have a God who understands our brokenness.



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Faithfulness and Prayer

I feel like lately my blogs have been a bit depressing...I ALWAYS try to add hope in them though.  I've been extremely depressed for a while now, and I'm not sure when it'll let up.  I can't take anything for it because I have bad reactions to them.  So all I've really got is therapy - not saying therapy is bad.  But you know what?  I don't just have therapy....I've got a God who loves me more than I could ever imagine and he's not leaving me.  I've got people in my corner too.  While my depression often makes me feel alone, the fact is I'm not alone.  Even if today everyone left me, I still wouldn't be alone because Christ is with me no matter what.  While most things in life (or even life itself) is fleeting, he isn't - he's forever!  God is forever, and his love is forever!



Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgave them all.

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior.  You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.

Psalm 65:3;5



We are imperfect people in an imperfect world.  Things are going to suck sometimes.  Sometimes it's going to be people who hurt us, and other times WE are the ones doing the hurting to others.  As someone who really struggles with grace (and bitterness), it can be difficult to forgive.  I always thought I forgave people easily, but recently I've realized that maybe I don't.  I always remember what someone has done to me (strange since I forget about A LOT of things), and it's difficult for me to trust a person to not do what they did to me again.  You know what though?  I have a hard time forgiving myself too.  In a previous blog I said that I have a pretty big burden in that I never forgive myself for anything.  That's a pretty heavy burden to carry for nearly 30 years.  I've definitely got to learn to not only forgive myself, but to extend grace towards others as well.  That's for another entry to discuss though.

The fact is, we don't deserve forgiveness.  We have rebelled against the God of the universe, we have spat in his face and walked away.  We have hated him when he has loved us.  We have told him "I don't need you!  I don't want you!"  Do we deserve his forgiveness for all that?  Nope.  But God is so awesome that he forgives us anyway.  He forgives us for all our rebellion.  He forgives us because he loves us so much.  Jesus paid the price for us so the Father can forgive us!



But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Romans 5:8




While we despised him, he loved us so much that he sent his Son to die for us - just so we can be with him.  Just so we can even talk to him!  Jesus took OUR punishment, so we can one day run into God's arms and hear him say "I love you."  We are like the Prodigal Son in that we rebelled against God; but when we finally return to him he holds us tightly, kissing us and telling us how much he loves us.  This is absolutely incredible!  Can you even imagine?  I know it's difficult for me to.

Then there's the second part of the top verses - verse five.  He faithfully answers our prayers.  I know many times it seems like he isn't listening.  You pour your heart out and yet you only hear silence.
Then there are times where we don't like his answers.  Sometimes we ask for something, and he doesn't give it to us.  When that happens, I think it's easier for us to think he wasn't listening than to think his answer to us was "no."  I've asked God so many times that there would be justice for me.  That all the people who have mistreated me, all the people who abandoned me in my time of need, all the abuse I've been through over the years, that there would be justice for me.  As far as I know, that hasn't happened yet.  This is hard for me, because God said that vengeance was his (Deuteronomy 32:35).  Psalm 103:6 says:



The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.




Where is my justice?  Everyone got away with how they treated me!  But I hold onto the truth that he has seen my suffering, and he will give me justice one day.  I may not even see it when it happens, but it will happen.  Anyway, now I'm going on a tangent, lol.

He faithfully answers our prayers....

Sometimes his answers are what we want to hear, sometimes they're not.  But he ALWAYS answers them, and no matter how difficult things may be, he is there WITH you.  He will never leave you, even though sometimes it feels like he's really distant - or not even there at all.  Put your trust in him, that he is taking care of you through whatever it is you're going through.  If he can provide food for the animals in the wild, and the rain and sunshine for the plants to grow, how much more will he provide for his children - YOU?  He cares about you, no, he LOVES you!  Put your hope and trust in him.



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Priceless






I heard this song for the first time last night at Celebrate Recovery.  If you've been following my blog, you know I struggle with cutting (among other things).  There are two reasons why I cut.  First, to punish myself if I've done something wrong.  The other reason is when my emotions are too intense.  I've gone nearly two months without cutting, God willing it will be longer 😊

Anyway, I want to focus on the first reason.  I often feel like I have to punish myself.  Maybe you feel the same way.  Like that's the only way you're going to learn not to do it again.  You feel unworthy of grace, so you have to punish yourself.  If this is you, let me tell you this:  You don't have to punish yourself anymore!  You see, God sent his son Jesus to take our punishment for us.  This means we don't have to punish ourselves, because he took it for us!

Feel worthless?  You are PRICELESS!  God loves you SO MUCH!!  I wish I could tell you how much he loves you, but I can't because anything I say wouldn't be even close to just how much he loves you!  No matter what you've done, he loves you with a love that cannot be described.  You are his child!  A good parent would do anything for their child.  How much more will your Heavenly Father do for you - his child?

Trust me, I know what it's like to think God couldn't possibly love you.  I have thought that almost all of my life.  I mean, I knew he loved everyone, but I was the exception.  "I'm too messed up!  Look at everything I've done, there's no way he could want someone like me!"  Do you have similar thoughts?  Maybe you've been rejected a lot - especially by other Christians.  Maybe even your family rejected you.  "How could a holy God love me when I'm so unlovable?  If they rejected me, how could he not?"

He doesn't reject you though.  Even if the world rejects you, he NEVER will!  He made you not because he had to, but because he loves you so much that he wants you!  It doesn't matter what you've done.  It doesn't matter how much you hate yourself or anyone else hates you, he will ALWAYS love you.  You mean more to him than there are stars in the sky!

Someone once told me that even if everyone in the world was saved except for me, Jesus still would've died for me.  Y'all, he would do the same for you!  Really think about that.  If YOU were the only person who was not saved, he would still die for YOU!

You are so precious to him.  I think if we knew even just a little bit of how much he loves us, we would never be the same.  Our lives would be so radically different!  If God loves us 100%, we may know at the most .5% of how much he loves us.  I don't think we could handle knowing just how much he really loves us.  It's something we can't understand, something we can't comprehend. 

He loves you more than girls love diamonds!  You are more valuable to him than anything in the universe!  If there's anything you get out of my blogs, I hope it's that God loves you SOOOOOOOO much!!