Loved me back to Him
I was having a long conversation with someone I admire very much the other day, and even though we haven't spoken in a really long time it felt as if we've talked daily. I'm grateful for people like her in my life, she and I found ourselves on the phone for hours. I believe it was an appointed moment for the two of us to share our hearts with one another. I know her words and wisdom truly blessed me that day.
Many of the topics we touched on resonated with me till today. In the days after speaking, I found myself thinking about how we each have a specific journey and how we all go through many trials in our life. Many of which we go through in silence, how we choose to isolate ourselves and try and fight the good fight of faith alone. There are so many reason for this to happen and believe me I am no stranger to isolation. Sometimes I feel as if I prefer the solitude and believe the lie that I can face anything alone and think why should I allow anyone to know my battles. What good would that do?
You see, I was brought up thinking that emotion of any kind was a sign of weakness. That if you'd let anyone in, it was inevitable for you to get hurt. So growing up, my defense mechanism was to go at life alone. To not trust and always have my guard up, I'd always look out for someones angles/intentions. What was their interest in me, how long would they stick around? Sad, I know! Needless to say this way of thinking would cause me so much pain and a life long battle with my mind and heart. I believe this was the beginning of my mind monster.
There has been this series of sermons I've been listening to the past couple of weeks called Mind Monsters by Pastor Jeremy Foster who pastors Hope City here in Houston, TX. His teachings along with many other resources that I have sought after have helped me overcome many of my buried and strategically suppressed painful areas of my heart. The thoughts that long consumed me, and that I allowed in my heart and spirit needed much healing. It has been quite the journey to say the least, I tried many times to fill my brokenness with everything but with the One. The One who gave everything for me. He was the only one who could ever fill me completely and the journey to realize this was a painful yet rewarding one.
I am one of the most stubborn people you'll ever meet, at least I use to be. I've changed because He has changed me for the better. One of the contributors to my mind monster was pride, oh my how pride gets in the way of your deliverance. I was always to prideful to admit I was wrong, and forget about me apologizing. This was a character flaw that God truly worked within me for a very long time. My husband, he once mentioned I was like an onion, there are so many layers to me and he had to wait for God to peel off one layer at a time. I know he got this from Shrek but it is so true.
God had to peel my layers of shame, condemnation, thoughts of worthlessness, guilt, pride, and he continues to peel off what the enemy constantly tries to taunt me with. Believe me he does not rest, he tries every angle to come at me, and I have learned since the age of 9 years old how to combat him. I've learned that I had to renew my mind with God's word, that His truth is my weapon against him. That when he tries to speak at me about my past, I can talk down to him and say, my past does not define me. That God has already given his son for my past and that I am His precious child whom He will never forsake.
That when He looks at me, He sees the finished product not who I am today. He sees his daughter who has fulfilled her purpose in Him, the daughter who fought hard in faith and never gave up. The daughter that when the enemy would speak lies about how she wasn't a good enough wife or mother, she'd shut the devil up by being proactive in her relationships with her husband and children and show them how much she loved them. How when the devil would say to her, " You will never fulfill your dreams, your time has passed you by" She would recite Jeremiah 29:11 over and over and speak down to him and say, " I will fulfill my dreams in God who has made me a promise and He does not lie. His words are true and in His timing not my own He will propel me to my given destiny!"
Believe me dear friends when I tell you that the enemy is a liar, deceiver and he only comes to destroy you. It's a constant battle, and the battle is in our minds. So when I first made the decision that enough was enough and I was tired of allowing him to use me as a punching bag, I was determined to seek God out with all my mind, heart and soul. I began to pray and with God's help I began to make small yet effective changes in my life.
1. I stopped the self hate, I began to research God's love for me. Then I began to love myself as He loves me. He taught me how to see myself as he sees me.
2. Stopped the victim mentality, I had to come to terms with all the wrong that was done to me and move on from it. Stopped allowing it to be an excuse and reason for not moving forward.
3. Forgive myself, I forgave myself for my bad decisions and choices from the past. I needed to do this to get rid of the constant condemnation.
4. Stopped speaking death and started speaking life towards myself and others. I wanted to have a positive life but with me constantly being negative, I realized this was not going to happen. So I had to surrender and allow God to show me the way of speaking life. Its one thing to get thoughts of negativity but you don't have to breathe life to those thoughts, what I had to do was replace that thought with a positive one/God's truth. One of the first books towards this way of thinking was The Power of I Am by Joel Osteen. If you haven't read this you definitely should!
5. Learned to trust, know that not everyone is a bad person who has an agenda. I learned to pray and ask God to show me who I could let in, to point me to the relationships that would speak words of life, encourage me through my journey and intercede for me when needed.
6. Put God first over all, I had the revelation that if I truly did not have God as my number one priority and did not seek Him daily in all things, then this would leave me vulnerable to the enemies tactics against me. I had to be diligent in my pursuit of His truth for my life daily. He knows all and sees beyond what I know to be true. He is my compass in this life, He is my lighthouse. Without Him at the center, I'm left alone. I refuse to go back to that emptiness, the hole of despair that I was once trapped in.
These changes took time and it wasn't easy, but with God's grace, He saw me through it and I have come out of all of this with more love, grace and strength than ever before. I have patience that I though wouldn't be possible, peace that I could only dream of and gratefulness that when I speak about it I can't help but get emotional. When you've suffered in silence all your life and at one point had thoughts of ending it. You realize that mental health is real and when you've exhausted all that you can humanly do and find yourself with no where to turn, you turn to the one who created you. The one that can lift you from the pit of the enemy's lies and give you life. Love you back to sanity and love you back to a new life in Him.
I pray that wherever you find yourself in this moment, I want you to know that I love you and God loves you. I pray that He meets you where you are right here and now and that you feel His presence. That you can feel His arms wrapped around you and that you can feel His love for you. That no matter the lies that the enemy has told you, you know that you do not belong to him but that you are the most valuable and precious child of the most High God! You are beautiful and you are worthy!
In Jesus' name, Amen!