Tonight I feel alone and I’m scared. For the past couple weeks I have really been struggling, struggling in my walk with God, struggling to fight the depression I feel coming back into my life. I don’t want to go back to that dark place. The fear of going back to that place and never coming out again is something I think about every time that dull sadness begins to wrap itself around my heart. It’s like the waves are rushing up around my neck and if I don’t fight to keep my head above water I’ll drown. It’s after four in the morning and I can’t sleep because of thoughts. It always seems like whenever I start to feel like this, God leaves me. I can’t go through this again, alone. I wish I could run away from my own life and not even tell myself where I went, maybe that way depression wouldn’t know where to find me this time. For the past month, I keep feeling like I’m not where I’m supposed to be at. I don’t belong here anymore, in this place. I want to go where no one knows me so I can start over. I think what I really want to be able to do is leave the old me behind. I want to leave the memories, sights and sounds inside the rooms they were created and close that door never to open it again. Living in the past isn’t living at all. As a teenager I always prayed that God would let me get in a accident that would cause me to have amnesia, so I could wipe the slate in my head clean. Sad thing is my brain might have forgotten but my body wouldn’t, it won’t let me forget. At night I can still feel them on my skin and no matter how much I scrub, that feeling just won’t go away. I have become my own enemy. The worst part of all this is I’m so tired of it, I should be over this by now. Everyone that knew about what happened thinks I’m fine but I’m still struggling. Except now I have to make them believe that I am because I feel like I should be over this by now too. You know sometimes I AM JUST SO TIRED of faking everything!! I’m so tired of going to church and leaving the way I came. I’m tired of putting on a fake smile around my friends and family. I’m tired of everyone thinking that I’m this Christian that has everything together! Twice this week I’ve had two people ask me about my faith and where I went to church. I didn’t even start the conversation about God, they did. If I’m honest I didn’t even want to talk to them about God. I gave them short answers and tried to change the subject. It’s a shameful thing to admit but it’s the truth. I didn’t feel worthy to talk to them about God. I’m not angry at God but right now I feel numb towards Him. Seems like all the running away I want to do, the only running I’m doing is away from God…I need Him the most right now but something is keeping me from searching for Him. I don’t know how to get out of this rut but I’ve done it before, so I know I can. The thing that is scary though is this time I know just how far you can sink into those waves of depression and if I don’t try to find a way out before too long I’ll be in over my head.
As I look in the mirror, I don’t recognize the girl staring back at me. Her eyes are the eyes of a different soul. A girl who relives all the memories I forgot. A girl who can’t forget the very things I can’t remember. The reflection I see staring back at me is who everyone thinks to be me, I don’t have the heart to tell them that it’s not me. I do not know that girl. We are acquaintances at best because we have to be but we are not friends.
I feel as if everyday her smile betrays me because she keeps up the masquerade, the real me suffers in silence. She keeps everyone at arms length, when I want nothing more then to be close to another beating heart. She pushes them away while on the inside I’m screaming “please stay.” The only time the true me has a voice is through a pen because she has control of my tongue.
I hide inside beneath her ribcage seeking shelter from outside evil. Living in a cage is dark at times but it brings protection. She is kind to everyone but me. Perhaps she believes if she can starve me of love I will curl up and die. Maybe she thinks she is doing me a favor? All the ways she tries to protect me, they keep me safe but they keep me lonely.
If only someone would look deep into that woman’s eyes and see the little girl hiding inside, walk into that dark cage and draw her out. Give her a microphone. She doesn’t need someone to be her voice, just let her voice be heard. She would tell you the truth. Maybe that’s what my reflection is afraid of? The truth is painful.
So she bandages the bleeding wounds with princess bandages. So when the little girl sees the wounds she thinks of fairy tales in far away lands. For in that moment her mind leaves and goes where her body cannot. Her mind is her only way of escape. So she dreams up worlds of fake realities, in which the only sadness is that the sun goes down at the end of the day. But even that is not so bad because she makes her wishes on the falling stars.
Through out my life, God has set me free from a lot of things. But during the times I went back on the Lord there was something that I always struggled with. I was addicted to pornography…
But I’m a girl, they don’t struggle with porn. (sarcasm intended)
It was because of that stigma that I never told anyone about what I was struggling with. I was too ashamed. So I kept it my little secret.
I was introduced to porn at a young age. I was still a child when one of my abusers showed it to me for the first time. The other man that hurt me, porn has consumed him and destroyed his marriage and family. When I was 16 and 17 I got involved with a guy that was also addicted to pornography. He also tried to draw me deeper into that lifestyle. For something considered a “hidden sin” it wasn’t very hidden in my life. I’m not blaming any of them for the addiction I had, I’m the one that let those claws sink into me.
Porn consumed me. I would “binge” on it. Staying up till four in the morning watching it, only to turn it back on as soon as I woke up. I would avoid spending time with friends and family, just so I could be alone to watch it. There would be times that it was no longer enjoyable to watch but I just couldn’t stop. It was a very strong, stronghold in my life.
Porn made me feel disgusting. I would repent just to fall right back into that same sin. I remember crying on more than one occasion saying, “God, I don’t want to be this person.” or “God I would understand if you didn’t want to have anything else to do with me.”
I remember one time sitting there about to turn it on to watch and saying “God I’m sorry I’m like this.” I heard the voice of the Lord whisper to me and it made me freeze, He said “I have something better for you.”
God does have something that is so much better for us then pornography. It destroys and twist what God has meant to be beautiful and turns it into a dark source of bondage. In a way it was easy for me to have an excuse to watch it. I would think “It can’t mess me up more than I already am.” In a way I relived my abuse through those videos, in the types of movies that I would watch the girl couldn’t enjoy what was happening to her, it had to be forced. It had to hurt her and she was never in control. Whenever I turned it off I would cry myself to sleep at night. I would feel like the scum of the earth for even taking part in that by watching it.
I felt too far gone to ever break free from this. I would go to church just to beg God to take that part of me out that desired that. I struggled with this alone because people don’t address the fact that girls face some of the same battles that guys do.
So I decided to sit down and write about this struggle I’ve dealt with in my life. With the hope that if there is another girl that is right where I was, that she won’t feel alone.
- I don’t need to tell you all the things wrong with porn, you already know. I always knew but knowing didn’t set me free…God did!
The last thing I needed was someone reminding me what a filthy, disgusting sinner I was. I already knew that, I needed to be reminded that there is HOPE! We are never too far gone, too deep into a sin that God can’t redeem us from it.
I want you to know that you are NOT disgusting!
“For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (KJV)
You are not alone in this temptation. Jesus himself was tempted in every manor such as us, yet overcame that temptation.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.” Romans 4:15 (KJV)
That verse gives me so much hope. He understands. When He walked on this earth, He was both fully God and fully man. Jesus knows the struggle of sexual temptation but because he overcame…so can we!
“For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” Romans 2:18 (KJV)
Do you know what “Succor” means? it means to assistance and support in times of hardship and distress. God doesn’t just sit up in heaven and hope we don’t fall into temptation and sin. But during those times when the devil is coming at you from every angle, if we call out to God He will “succor” us. The Bible says God will make a way of escape for us.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)
I’m not here to tare you down because of your sin but to lift up the one that sets free from sin, addictions and shame. God says if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.
If you are struggling with pornography and you feel like you are too far into this pit and you can never get out of it, this is me reaching out my hand to you, saying, “Look up, there is hope! I have been in that same pit, let me show you the one that rescued me!”
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV)
Everyone loves to hear about the love of God toward us. If you grew up in church, you hear it so much that your ears often fall deaf to the truth those words hold. I grew up hearing those words but I never truly believed them. When people would tell me that Jesus loved me even up till recently, I used to feel like I was being lied to. I couldn’t understand how if Jesus really loved me, He would let certain things go on. I grew angry toward God and bitter which then made me feel like I wasn’t worthy of His love. How could He love me after I rejected Him so many times, after I hated Him. I was so ashamed at the feelings I held toward Him. I remember saying to God during a time that I was struggling to overcome something and I kept failing, I told God, “I would understand if you never wanted to have anything to do with me again.” And I completely meant that! Yet He didn’t turn away from me, He so patiently kept calling me back to Him. He didn’t desert me.
One night when I was kneeling beside my bed praying, I got honest with God. I remember praying, “God I know your word and everyone else says you love me but I don’t feel that love. They just seem like empty words. God if you really love me, would you show me?”
I got up from that prayer not feeling any different or more loved than when I knelt down. I’m not sure what I was expecting to happen? Maybe a bright light to shine down on me and this loud voice from God saying, “I love you ……” That would be nice but it never happened.
I began to search for Him, digging in the Bible trying to find this love. The Bible says to “Seek and ye shall find.” I started to find verse after verse and story after story of Jesus’s love put into action. I’ve known these verses and stories all my life but something was different this time, I had put my guard down. I stopped listening to those thoughts that that kind of love wasn’t for me. Just like that verse in Jeremiah 31:3 where it says He has loved us with a everlasting love. Everlasting that means it never stops! And with “lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” He even uses love to draw us to Him! No matter what we have done, how we have felt toward God or how long we have run from Him, with lovingkindness has He is calling us to Him.
One day it happened, I was by myself driving down one of those country roads again. I was singing a worship song when I heard it. The voice of God whispered to me out of the blue and it was this sweet, soft voice that was just dripping with love. (He called me by my name!) and said, “….. I love you” I just stopped singing. I said “God, was that you?” God spoke to me first and He called me by name. To think that not only does the creator of the universe love me, but He knows my name also!
Don’t ever think that your prayers go unanswered or that He doesn’t hear you when you cry out to Him.
God loves you. He loves you in your brokenness. He loves you in your depression. He loves you in your pain, your hopelessness but He also loves you too much to leave you where you are. Search for Him!
“Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.” Psalm 130:1 (KJV)
“Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from distruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” Psalm 103:3-4 (KJV)
That’s love in action!
FORGIVENESS…I don’t know what pops into your mind when you hear that word but for me I think, “uhhh”. I get this feeling of dread in my stomach and I kind of just want to turn off the sound tunnels on the sides of my head (at least what I like to call them). Forgiveness sounds so beautiful when you are the one in need of receiving it, but can sound like nails on a chalk board when you are the one who has to give it. I’m not going to lie…IT’S PAINFUL!! Anyone one who will tell you it’s not, either they aren’t being completely honest or they are super human and need to teach me their ways! haha.
Lately all I seem to hear is people talking about is forgiveness, it’s what I keep hearing preached about. It’s got to the point when I’m like, “Ok God, I hear you.” You would think that hearing forgiveness preached would motivate you and make you want to forgive but that’s not the case for me. I end up feeling discouraged and a little hopeless. The way I see it is, if it was as easy as saying the words “I forgive you” to that person or in my case those people who have done such evil, I would have done it a long time again. Forgiveness brings freedom, and without it, I’m in a prison. I want the freedom but sometimes the price seems too high for me to pay. I know for me it seems easier to hold on to the pain and bitterness, because they’ve done terrible things. It’s like for me to forgive them would be to say, “What you did was ok” or “What was done to me wasn’t so bad, so you can go free and I’m just going to act like it never happened.”
I thought I had forgiven the one that I’ve struggled with the most. I even called him on the phone and told him that I held a lot of anger and hate toward him but it was hindering my walk with the Lord. I told him I forgave him for the things that he had done to me, then I hung up the phone. Things have gone on since that day, things he has done and lies he has said to try and cover his sin. I’ve struggled ever since with forgiveness. It’s a battle raging between my heart and my mind, between what I know is right and what I feel.
I wish I could finish this by saying I’ve forgiven him, saying my past is my past and I’ve moved on. But Christians shouldn’t lie, so I won’t. I haven’t forgiven him but it’s something I want so desperately! I want the pain to be gone, I want peace. I guess I’m afraid that if I was to forgive him that would mean that what he did wasn’t so bad. I have to remember that’s not true. The only problem is that emotions have a way of over riding our minds and what we know to be the truth.
I wish I could be encouraging right now and say something uplifting to you. I hope that if you are in my shoes, that you will find the forgiveness in your heart that YOU deserve. Maybe one day in the future (hopefully very soon) I will be able to write about what true forgiveness feels like and what it feels like to be out of this prison I keep myself locked in. I hold the key. I guess that’s the problem… I’m holding it. I need to let go and unlock the door.
I know this isn’t the end to my story, just a road block. One thing this has taught me is, I’m amazed at the forgiveness of God! He has forgiven me of sooo much and He did it so willingly! I’m trying very hard to be like my King. For me to be able to forgive something like this, the help would have to come from God. BUT I know God is faithful, loving and patient. He will help me to forgive!
Some of the worlds best actors, nobody even knows their names. We walk past them everyday of our lives but never do we stop for an autograph. Some could be Oscar winners for all their years of keeping up the act. They do it so well, it becomes second nature to them. But never is it for fame or fortune, more like for family. If the actor was to step down from the stage, took off the mask and let their soul be seen for what it really is, all you would hear would be gasps then complete silence.
For that is the moment that they find out you’re not who they thought you were. You want nothing more than to be real, but the truth is your the fakest of them all… That’s why the show must go on! People don’t want the truth! The truth is scary, dark and painful but most of all the truth is real. Even when there are stage lights on you, it doesn’t mean there isn’t darkness all around you. The darkness has a way of creeping up on you, with one flip of the switch the light is gone.
You want nothing more than to get away but you can’t find a way out! You’re trapped in your own play. If only you had dropped the act, took off the mask, maybe you could have been saved? But it’s too late the mask has now become a part of who you are. You can’t take it off, you have no skin underneath. To take it off would kill you!
It’s so easy to put this space between us and them, like they are fictional characters but they lived and breathed. In the Matthew account there are only three verses used to tell her story, but for the first time I saw myself in those three verses.
Matthew 9:20-22 “And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment I shall be made whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.” (KJV)
Because of the kind of disease she had, she was considered unclean. So she suffered silently and alone for twelve years. The same story is told over in Mark 5:25-34, there it tells of how she had tried everything searching for healing, she exhausted all her resources but no healing was ever found.
I thought how many times have I felt like this woman? How many times have I searched elsewhere for my healing? How many times have I felt too weak to push through the things keeping me from getting to Jesus? “The crowd”
I remember praying at times, “God if I can just get to you, just get ahold of you then I know everything will be ok.” I had to get to the place where I was desperate for him, nothing else would satisfy. I had to touch Jesus!
“For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” Matthew 9:21 (KJV)
I don’t think I ever realized before what really happened that day. One touch was all it took to heal years of suffering! If I only had half the faith she did. She didn’t care what people might have thought of her, she didn’t care if people stared. She was on a mission, she had to get to the healer!
When she FINALLY got to Jesus, it caused him to stop and turn around to her. It didn’t matter the size of the crowd calling out his name. There is something special about touching Jesus. It causes him to stop and turn to you. Anyone can stand and call out the name of Jesus for healing, but only the truly desperate will crawl till they reach the healer! To be so desperate for Jesus that you feel like, ” I must get to Jesus, lest I die.”
The Bible says in Jeremiah 9:13
“And ye shall seek me, and ye shall find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (KJV)
Just because no one else may have been able to see her disease or the wounds she carried, doesn’t mean she didn’t have any. There are some wounds that only you and Jesus see. It didn’t say he healed her disease, it says he made her whole. He went beyond the surface problem. Maybe she carried years of shame and feeling like a outcast because back in those days, the disease she had with “the issue of blood” made her unclean in the eyes of the world. She was rejected. I wonder if it made her feel like a throw away?
“He healeth the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 (KJV)
Years of pain was healed in one touch!
One thing is for sure. No matter the pain, no matter the disease, no matter the wound. One touch from Jesus and we are made whole!
Jesus didn’t just heal her and walk away, but he stopped to comfort her (Vs. 22) He is our comforter, healer, redeemer and savior! Everything that I have ever searched for, is found in him alone.
Jesus sees, Jesus comforts and Jesus heals!
Psalm 130:5-6, “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that wait for the morning: I say, more than they that wait for the morning.” (KJV)
Lately God has been trying to teach me to wait on him. In my eyes I want things to be over with already. I want healing from the past. I want this person to make right what he has done wrong, I want him to get right with God. I want him to ask for my forgiveness, I want him to be able to own up to what he has done. During the meeting he wouldn’t confess, he denied instead.
After the meeting I really struggled with not falling back into old habits and I was fighting thoughts from the enemy again. I had always been told that “the truth will set you free” but I felt like it did the complete opposite for me. I felt like the truth just made everything worse. That now I was out in the open and I felt exposed and ashamed. I wasn’t set free, I was still bound by what happened. I really had to pray that God would help me to lean on him for strength.
This past Friday night, it was like the enemy was beating me up from every angle. I called someone crying. I told them that I was never going to pray about this anymore, that I was done. God wasn’t answering me. When you are in a spiritual battle, at times you can even feel physically weak, like you have no strength left to fight. That’s how I felt Friday night. They began to encourage me, that God hadn’t forsaken me and he hears my cries. That even though we may go through the fire, he is always with us, just like the three Hebrew children. They reminded me that sometimes we have to wait on God to move. He sees a greater purpose that I can’t see right now!
We talked till almost two in the morning and something began to change inside of me. I began to see what I was doing! It was like I had been grabbing Jesus by the hand and was trying to pull him around. I wanted God to move right then and to move only how I wanted him to. But only God knows the end from the beginning, he already knows what’s best for me. That night I had to truly give it to God, I had to just trust him that he would take care of everything!
God has a way of taking these things that the devil throws at us and turning them around for the glory of God! One day there is going to be person going through what I was going through that night and I’m going to be able to encourage them, just like I was encouraged. As hard as it is to wait on the Lord at times, I know in the end it’s not something that I am going to regret doing!!
I pray that one day this person will be able to confess to the sin the have committed and get it right before God, so one day I will be able to see this person in heaven. I don’t want to allow this stuff to keep me from heaven, but to draw me closer to the one in heaven!
So until I see God move and work this out, my soul will wait on the Lord!
Psalm 40:1-3, I WAITED patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” (KJV)
Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!
Tonight is one of those nights where I just needed some peace. Tomorrow one of my abuser’s is going to be confronted and if things go well, I’m going to meet with him too. To be honest, I’m very scared I don’t know what the outcome will be. I need the kind of peace that only the prince of peace can give. I’ve haven’t even been able to eat today, I tried to eat something tonight but got sick and threw it up (that might be TMI) There is a lot of uneasiness inside of me.
I knelt down beside my bed to pray. I was telling God, “I know what your words says, that your strength is made perfect in our weaknesses and that you are a strong tower that we can run into and be safe. That your word says you will not put more on us then we can bare.” I had to remind myself who God is!
Isaiah 26:3-4 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” (KJV)
When things are out of our hands and we have no control, the only thing we can do is place them in the hands of our Heavenly Father we have no need to fear. One thing I have to keep reminding myself is he knows the end from the beginning, he knew before the foundations of the world that tomorrow would come and he knew that tonight I would sitting here worrying over something I can’t control. Afraid because I don’t how things are going to turn out, or if they ever be the same again, or if something good will ever come out of this?
I know this fear is nothing more then the enemy attacking my mind, trying to steal any peace I might have.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (KJV)
Tomorrow I’m going to need that spirit of love, power and especially a sound mind when I see him. It’s not that I don’t love him, I’ve even called him and told him I’ve forgiven him. There is still a chance that tomorrow he will deny ever doing anything and I am going to need the spirit of love to help me. I have prayed many times that God would put in me his love for them, that I would see them as he sees them… lost and in need of a savior… so that way I could love them like he loves them.
I want the same kind of love that Jesus had when he was on the cross, even though the crowd stood mocking him, he still said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” For the longest time that verse confused me, they knew exactly what they were doing, they were killing him. But they didn’t know to whom they were doing those things to…the Son of God! I use to think God I could never say that “forgive them for thy know not what they do” because they do know exactly what they’ve done, but they didn’t know who they were doing it to…a daughter of God.
On my own or in my flesh I don’t think I would have ever been able to forgive them, but I’ve been saved -adopted- God’s blood now covers me and it’s the same blood that made it possible for Jesus to forgive those “hood rats” even while they were still mocking him. It’s the same blood that has now made it possible for me to forgive them also. That doesn’t mean that I have to let myself get close to them or trust them, I can still keep my distance and be safe and forgive them at the same time.
I thank the Lord that after praying tonight I felt a peace come over me, not a peace that everything will be ok but a peace that even if things aren’t ok tomorrow it’s out of my hands, it’s now in his and that’s safest place for it to be! I have a peace that passes all understanding (because even I don’t understand it!) but I have to just trust the prince of peace!
I had the weirdest dream last night. One that made me wake up thinking “What?”
In the dream I was in this room with a bunch of strangers. They were all sitting around just talking, for some reason I laid down on my back on the floor with other people that had laid down. Out of no where this guy comes over to me and gets on top of me, I try to push him off of me but he’s too strong. He holds my hands down and starts kissing me. The dream was so real I could feel his body weight on me, I could even feel his breath on my face! I could hear him breathing and I can’t stand that sound. This goes on for what seems like forever! I turn my head so he would kiss my neck not my lips. In the dream I felt so guilty about that because it made me feel like I had a say in what he was doing…if that makes sense? He stops and just stares at me, I know I’ve seen this guy before somewhere maybe even in real life! I just can’t remember his name. He knows I know him, and that gives him some kind of power over me because he knows I won’t say anything. He reached into my pants, I finally found enough strength to push him off of me. Once it was over with I thought in the dream “This is my fault, I should have never laid down.” Then I wake up from the dream.
Even after I woke up I still thought it was my fault because I shouldn’t have laid down, I made myself vulnerable. I realize it was just some stupid dream but it troubled me that I would still think that it was my fault that this guy jumped on me. Then I remembered all the times I’ve felt that some of the abuse I endured was my fault, because of that I still sometimes feel like I can’t get angry or upset over some of the things done to me. It probably sounds completely insane to people looking from the outside in. There were times when my sister and I were at this house alone with one of those that hurt me. I would lock my sister out of the house so he wouldn’t hurt her, he would abuse me instead. I still carry this guilt that I was asking for it, that I can’t let what he did to me during those times upset me because I put myself there and made myself vulnerable. “I was asking for it” To this day she still thinks I was just being mean to her because I wouldn’t let her “play” with us. I asked her a couple months ago if she remembered all the times I locked her outside, she did and she said “You were such a mean sister to me” It felt like my heart broke a little when she said that. All I could think was “If you only knew I did it because I loved you.” I don’t think I will ever tell her the truth about that. I don’t want her to carry a guilt about something she had no control over.
There were other times with the other person that made me feel like it was also my fault. I still to this day catch myself torturing myself over ” If only I had…” or “Why didn’t you just say something” or ” You let him do it because you kept quiet” He never once told me not to tell, I guess he knew me enough to know I was the silent type. Guess he was right.
There is one person that knows my story, he is the only one who has ever told me that it wasn’t my fault. Part of me wants to believe him but the other part just thinks “If you were me then you would know those times were my fault.”
I want to put all the blame where it belongs, but I can’t seem to do that. There are some things I’m afraid to tell because I don’t want my family to think that I let all these things happen. I think in my mind it’s easier to just believe that it’s my fault because if I say it’s my fault then that means I could have stopped it but I didn’t. In a strange way that gives me control over what happened like I had a say even if I didn’t. Maybe one day I will believe that it wasn’t my fault, but that day is not today…
“God is a God that takes brokenness and turns it into beauty.”
I’ve heard people say things like that all my life, but it never really hit home till I heard this person say it. I couldn’t imagine how God could take any part of my life and turn it into something of beauty. My life had been shattered into so many little pieces that in my mind it was impossible for even God to find all the pieces and put them back together again. If by chance he could find all the pieces that are broken and he tried to put them back together, it would never be the same again.
In my mind I couldn’t be fixed. I felt like God should just move on and try to help someone else who could be repaired. I don’t think I wanted to be fixed, just thrown away.
God doesn’t just turn brokenness into beauty, but he sees beauty in the brokenness!
God has this amazing ability to look at us and the mess our lives are and see beyond all that into what we can be once we give him the broken pieces!
I guess because when we reach the place of true brokenness, only then can we say, “God I can’t fix myself, I’ve tried, and I’ve failed. Please fix me!” He says, “Finally, now she is ready. My child, I will mend you.”
He takes the ugly and odd shapes, with his touch they begin to form into something new, something beautiful. But broken pieces even when they are arranged into a beautiful design, are still broken. The slightest move and they will shatter right back to the mess they came from. They need to be bound together with something strong enough that the wind and rain won’t destroy it. Something that can come between every little piece and hold it together. So God puts himself right in the middle, because only he is strong enough to hold us together! it’s like one day it clicked to me why brokenness is so attractive to God, because only in the brokenness do we let God truly become the very thing that holds us together. We fall apart when we try to do what only God can do!
When God is finished we are no longer broken! But we’re also never the same, in the middle of what use to just be “us” is God “the grout” he is what holds us together. Just like a mosaic we are now stronger after having been broken and repaired by the hands of the greatest artist of all time! The same artist that paints the sky every night and spoke galaxies into existence, is the same artist that cares enough to lovingly put us back together and make us whole again.
I want God to take the brokenness in my life and turn it into something beautiful. I want him to be the “grout” in my life, the center of everything, the one who holds me together!
(My name starts with J so I thought the picture was perfect!) 😉
Depression isn’t really something that’s easy to explain, but once you feel it you understand completely everything that can’t be put into words. Unless you’ve been through it yourself, it’s hard to truly wrap your mind around how it changes people you’ve known your whole life into strangers.
I know I still have a hard time trying to put words to the way depression made me feel. There were times when it felt like I had no emotion what so ever, if I felt anything at all, I could only feel it up to certain point before I went numb. There was a time that lasted for two weeks where every morning as soon as I woke up, I started crying just because my eyes opened again, I would think “I’m still alive.” I hoped I would die in my sleep. Something as simple as getting out of bed or just talking to people takes so much energy out of you, that you have to be alone just to recharge. I was always so afraid that people would think that I was trying to get attention if I told them how bad things had really gotten, that fear kept me quiet.
Depression takes you to an island alone and leaves you to die.
The first time I really understood that I was battling depression, I was twelve years old. My mother realized it too, so she told me to read a little Christian book on “100 ways to overcome depression.” Thinking that reading a book full of Bible verses telling me why I shouldn’t be depressed would somehow “cure” me… It didn’t. My mother has a hard dealing with things, so that’s why I’ve never been able to be open with her about things till recently. The depression got bad enough that she took me to the doctor about it. I remember the doctor asking me, “Do you sometimes feel blue?” She told mom that it was something that I would just get over. They both just brushed it off, but it didn’t just go away. At age twelve was the first time I tried to commit suicide. God moved and what I was trying to use to end my life wouldn’t work! There was no reason for it not to, other than God stopping it! Nobody knows about that though.
It’s something that comes and goes in waves. You never know when it will hit, you just have to try and keep your head above water. I continued to battle it alone because I didn’t feel like I had anyone I could talk to that would understand. When I was sixteen, I reached out to a suicide hotline for help one night, I’m not sure if it was just the person I was emailing ( I was scared that if I called they would trace my number?) but all the person wanted to know was what was making me so depressed, instead of trying to stop me from killing myself that night. Which was something I couldn’t tell them.
On April 21, 2014, the day after Easter. I was 21 when I felt like I couldn’t bare to just keep breathing any longer. I got in that old, Ford truck again and drove down those country roads behind my house. I had decided I would just end it for good this time. I wanted it to look like I just had an accident. I found myself driving 95 down this little road headed straight for this HUGE oak tree. I thought I wouldn’t feel anything and it would be over quick, but at the last minute right before I hit the tree this thought popped in my head, “What if you don’t die? What if you just end up a vegetable the rest of your life? What kind of life would that be? You couldn’t even end it then.” I got really scared so I slammed on the brakes and stopped at the base of the tree. I went home in tears, feeling completely hopeless.
The only suicide attempt my family knows about is the one on October 13, 2014. That’s the way I want it to stay, because what you don’t know can’t hurt you!
Depression is like a slow poison, that kills you from the inside out.
Something began to change in my life after a church service on November 1, 2014. I told I God couldn’t live like this an longer! I asked him to either heal me or kill me, because I wasn’t living anyway. I was begging God to please help me forgive those that had raped and molested me. (That is the first time I have even been able to write those words, much less say them out loud.) God started to work in my life that day, not everything was changed at once. It was a slow process, but I am so thankful that God is a patient, loving God that walks with us through our struggles. He’s still helping me heal. I was thinking the other day of something I heard once, “If God has never healed you, then you don’t know God as your healer.” I know someday when I heal completely from this, which a couple of months ago I thought would be impossible, but when I do I’m going to know God like I have never known him before! Maybe even in a way that other people might not because they don’t know him as their healer. God has already healed me from the depression I have suffered for so many years.
I was reading in John 11 one day about Lazarus, when I came across verse 4.
John 11:4 “When Jesus heard that he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” (KJV)
I felt like God was reminding me that this “sickness” the depression was not unto death, that it wasn’t going to kill me but that it was for the glory of God so he can be glorified out of it. I even have the word depression written beside that verse in my Bible. That’s how God works best, he takes the worst and most ugliest parts of our lives and turns them around and receives glory from them!
There was a verse that I held onto as a promise during that dark time.
Psalm 18:28 “For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” (KJV)
The darker the darkness, the brighter the light becomes! Like moths to a flame, he wants us to run to him.
No matter how big the void may feel like in our lives, no matter what we may use to try and fill it, that’s something only God can do. For me I used cutting as a way to try and fill the void depression left in my life. I felt like no one could hear my screams or cries for help. I even went as far as to carve the words “HELP ME” into my leg. I believe Jesus was standing right there with out stretched hands saying, “Just turn to me, I will be your help.” That was a work only God could do! ♥EZEKIEL 16:6♥ My blood was polluted with death, I couldn’t save myself no matter how hard I tried only God could. When I stopped running away from God and started running to him, that’s when my life began to change!
I pray if you are struggling with depression, that you will run to the only one who can “enlighten your darkness.” He is a God that can redeem our lives from destruction!
Psalm 103:4 “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction: who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” (KJV)
God redeemed my life from destruction, I know he can and wants to do the same for you!
Psalm 30:2 “O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast HEALED ME!” (KJV)
“You don’t let people see your personality, you keep yourself so hidden.”
Tonight before church I had a meeting with a friend. There had been this valley between us that I didn’t know what caused it or even how to fix it. We talked out what the misunderstanding was. We even felt God’s presence as he began to restore our friendship. Towards the end I told her,
“You know something I have always admired about you is your good with feelings. I can feel what someone is feeling but I don’t know how to reach out to them like you can! That’s always been hard for me, but you can go and pray for someone at the altar and wrap your arms around them and God uses you greatly through that!” She told me something that has been running through my mind even since. She said, “God can use you more then you are letting him, you just don’t let people see your personality, you keep yourself so hidden.” She didn’t mean anything bad by it, she was trying to encourage me.
But she’s right. I have a hard time opening up and letting people see the real me. I personally know I keep the real me hidden from almost everyone, but I thought I had everyone else fooled. I thought it was my secret and that no one else knew. It’s not like I’m hiding some horrible secret, just who I really am.
I remember as a little girl feeling like I had to always hide who I was, because I always thought if anyone found out who I really was (this dirty, little girl) that no one would want to have anything to do with me anyway, so it was safer if no one found out the real me. As I’ve grown older that mindset is still hard to break!
Just because I act one way doesn’t mean I want to act that way! If that makes sense? I don’t know how to let people see the real me? I know that would mean becoming real and open, and that’s something that’s very hard for me to do. You don’t want to feel like people pity you if they were to know your story. There is nothing pitiful about me. What happened to me may have been pitiful, but I’m not pitiful. I survived, I am now a survivor! If I’m strong enough to try and heal from my past and to overcome it, then I am strong enough to stop hiding inside myself. (those are big words that need action behind them…yikes)
If you want to know the truth, it can be a very lonely place inside your own little world. Yes you may be safe because there is no one else there to hurt you, but there is also no one else there to help you either. You win and lose battles no one knows about.
I don’t know how to stop hiding inside myself? I know I still am, because I’m writing all this behind a computer screen where no one knows who I am. It doesn’t take much courage to say, “OK, here is my story” when the story is nameless, but if I was to put a name and face to my story, you would have never heard it! I can’t get past the road block to my mouth. I’m so afraid of what people might think of me if they knew. In my heart I know how stupid that sounds, but my mind can’t be convinced of anything different! Why am I so afraid of other people’s opinions?
Why am I talking to a computer screen again tonight? lol It’s past midnight, I guess I can’t sleep till I get some of these words out of my head and through my fingers. I guess this is one of my midnight ramblings.
I was talking to a friend on the phone the other day and we were talking about God and struggles that we go through at times. I had mentioned to them that I was having a hard time when I pray at night. It wasn’t that I couldn’t feel God’s presence when I was praying, because I could. I just couldn’t break through what ever it was. It was like he was there but I couldn’t get to him? I even asked God what was going on? I didn’t understand.
I was reminded of Moses on Mount Sinai. God was way up on the mountain. He was still “near by” and present but his presence didn’t come down to Moses. Moses had to climb up to get to God! I told this friend that I feel like God wants me to “come up” to him.
You see Moses had to leave everything behind including people, to draw closer to God. God wanted alone time with Moses. Just looking at pictures of the mountain, it couldn’t have been easy. I’m sure Moses struggled to climb, maybe he thought he would never reach the top. I wonder if he got discouraged that this climb would never end, that it was too hard and God expected more from him then he could give.
When Moses reached the top he probably gained some serious leg muscles from the steep climb. (haha)
It was through the struggle that he gained strength!
(This may not be something that people normally blog about, but it’s what’s on my heart.)
I feel like God wants me to come up to him, to leave this world and all the cares it holds in the valley and climb up the mountain. Don’t get me wrong, God does come down to us and especially in our times of weakness. But if he is the only one doing all the climbing we will never gain any spiritual leg muscles. We will stay weak forever. If we are to grow stronger in the Lord, we have to exercise our spiritual muscles. God wants to call us to a higher place in him, one that is separated from the world.
The only way to get closer to God is to get farther from the world!
2 Corinthians 6:17 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (KJV)
I guess that’s what God has been trying to teach me lately and that’s what has been on my mind tonight. I thought I would share it with you. I better get some rock climbing boots because I have a mountain to climb!
P.S. You know I have no idea how Moses did it in sandals 😉
I know on the nights I can’t seem to sleep, I lay there and wait for morning to come. Time moves so slowly, it feels like the sun will never come up. You lay in the darkness for what feels like forever. Then you hear it…. the birds chirping. Telling you to hold on the dawn is coming. You feel hope start to rise up in your soul, because you know the light will be here soon!
I went through a time in my life were it felt like I was in never ending darkness. I thought the dawn would never come. It had come to the place were I couldn’t stand the darkness any longer. I felt like I couldn’t keep waiting for something that was never going to come.
On October 13, 2014, I reached my breaking point. I decided that I couldn’t handle this life anymore. That night I left my house about two o’ clock in the morning and walked to some woods to end it all. I’m not going to tell how I was going to do it, because I don’t want to put any ideas in someone’s head. I felt like no one could help me, I had tried reaching out to people. I felt the only way to end what was going on, was to end me. My family afraid for me called 911. The police were calling me but I didn’t want them to track me so I never answered. Not knowing they can track your phone if you text them, one of the officers and I texted for two hours. I finally answered his phone call and told him where I was, the tracking wasn’t very good and they thought I had left for a near by town. When they arrived, there were four cars and eight police officers.
I was Baker Acted that night. The place they brought me to was very cold and all the doors were locked. I had to wait in a room full of men. I had been up for over twenty-four hours, and they couldn’t take me to a room till I spoke to the counselor. When the man arrived, (who’s name was Wolf) we went in a room were he asked me a bunch of questions. Where he said I had “Major Depressive Disorder” and I had all the symptoms of PTSD. He asked “has someone had ever done anything to you?” all I said was yes. He said “was it someone you trusted?” I said, yes. That was it. They tried to put me on medication but I wouldn’t take it. There were fights going on with some of the other patients, so I couldn’t go back to a room. I was awake for over thirty- eight hours before I laid down to sleep. There was no locks on any doors that lead to the rooms that had beds. So as I’m laying down men would come and go from the room. One came and stood over my bed, I just pretended to be asleep hoping he would just leave, and thankfully he did. I had seen the same man do something over a woman sleeping and none of the staff stopped him because they just didn’t want to deal with him!
Being in a place like that will make you feel crazy. I had four people come up to me and just started telling their story. There are so many hurting people in this world. I felt like I was hurting them too, because I knew God could help them but how could I tell them that, I would be a hypocrite. Surprisingly they talked about God quite a bit, but I always kept silent. I felt like I was keeping a gift that they needed away from them, but how could I give them something I didn’t have?
They had people come in to talk to you that had been in the same boat. This one lady talked to me and after hearing her story, she asked me out of the blue, “you believe in God, don’t you?” I told her, “yes” She then said, “then you believe if you kill yourself, you’ll go to hell. So why did you try?” I honestly didn’t know what to say. So I just told her the truth “at that moment that was the farthest thing from my mind.” Satan had me so blinded that all I could think about was that moment I was in then, not eternity.
In my state I’ve heard they can only Baker Act you for up to seventy- two hours. I had been there fifty hours when they released me. I actually got out of there early by mistake. There was a new counselor that signed my release papers with out knowing that he had to check with someone over him. Because of the way I was going to end my life, they said they were supposed to keep me the full seventy- two hours. I heard the conversation in a hall while waiting, because you had to meet with them everyday. Once I was signed out they couldn’t readmit me. I was so thankful to leave.
That was a really dark time in my life. Even now when I look back, I can see God’s hand at work. Not only did he never leave me but he also sent three people into my life, they helped in more ways then they will probably ever know while on this earth. One day I hope when we get to heaven that they will be able to understand how they really became the hands of God reaching out to me. There were times the only way I felt the love of God was through them.
Thinking back on it now (as cheesy as this is going to sound!) During the dark nights of my life, it was like they became the “birds” that you hear right before morning. Telling you to just hold on the dawn will break, and with the dawn will come the “SON”
Although this was not my first suicide attempt. I once tried when I was twelve to take my life, but how God intervened in that is another miracle. Also when I was sixteen I tried to reach out to a suicide hotline but with no help. I had tried everything but running to the one who could really help me. Jesus came and gave his life so that we could have life, but just a life but a more abundant life! To live without the one who gives life is not really living, just air coming and going from my lungs. There is one verse I would say to myself every time those thoughts of death would creep into my head.
Psalm 118:17 “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.” (KJV)
I held onto the hope that one day all this would be behind me eventually. I was going to live and I was going to tell what God has done for me, not just what he has done for me but one day I would tell what he has brought me through.
So to anyone facing those thoughts I promise dawn will come, the birds will sing and the SON will come up. Darkness only last for a night, the light is coming! You shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD!
I’m sure if I was to sit down with any random person or even you reading this, that you could tell me of a time when you went through a storm. Perhaps you’re still in the middle of one. Storms are a part of life, unfortunately. Good news is they don’t last forever! The way I look at it is, If we are never rescued from one, then we would never know God as our rescuer.
Lately in my life there has been a storm raging. Sometimes I look up and all I see are waves over my head. If that’s all I focus on it can be overwhelming.
I’ve never been one to ask God why he allows certain things to happen, or to go on. As weak as my faith is sometimes, I always know that he has a plan somehow.
Whenever I have a lot on my mind and I need to go think. I hop in a old, white Ford truck and go for a drive down some country roads behind my house. I’ve been down those roads so many times, I could probably drive it with my eyes closed! I’ve grown to treasure those times with just me and God. I can talk to him just like he is sitting in the passenger seat right next to me. I pour my heart out to him even though he already sees it. I have felt his presence come into that truck and all I could do was weep. I have a lot of deep conversations with God behind a steering wheel! (haha)
Well today was one of those days and I found myself driving down those country roads again.
It was in a quiet moment when God reminded me of Peter and the disciples. ( MATTHEW 14:22-33) When they were in the ship in the middle of the sea. They had no way to escape, the waves were tossing them all around. They were far from the safety of land. Before the storm started, Jesus told them to go ahead and he would come later. But here they were in a storm alone (or so they thought!) I wonder if at times they felt like Jesus had deserted them?
But just as Jesus said here he comes walking on the water! They didn’t even recognize the one coming to save them and cried out in fear. Jesus comforts them by saying, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
Then we have Peter who says, ” Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” So Jesus tells him to come. At first Peter does walk on the water! But verse 30 says, “But when he saw the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” (KJV)
At first Peter was walking on water, but as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus and started looking at the storm raging around him, he began to sink! I can be a Peter at times and take my eyes off of Jesus and start looking at the storm raging around me too.
After he cried out to Jesus what happened? It says, (V.31) “IMMEDIATELY Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (KJV) I started thinking about that. It says “immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.” Jesus didn’t have to walk to Peter to pick him up, he was right there. All he did was reach down and catch him. Peter had walked far enough on the water to get that close to Jesus (he was so close to victory!) when he took his eyes off of Jesus and put them on the storm, that’s what caused him to sink.
I know I’ve wondered before, “why didn’t Jesus just calm to storm?” He’s done it before, he’s spoke to the storm “Peace, be still” Why didn’t he just do it again? Because Jesus choose to walk to the disciples in the middle of the storm instead of calming it. Sometimes Jesus chooses to walk with us in the middle of our storms instead of calming them! Never is he more then arms length away!
Even though I saw this in a way I’ve never seen before, there was ONE thing that really stuck out to me!
What was Peter drowning in?… water! What was Jesus walking on?… water!
The same thing that almost overtook Peter, was the same thing under the feet of Jesus. Jesus is more powerful then anything that might try to overtake us! It’s all under his feet, if we can just keep our eyes on Jesus we won’t drown!!
Lord help me to never put my eyes on the storm around me and take them off of you!
“Secrecy is as indispensable to human beings as fire and as greatly feared. Both enhance and protect life, yet both can stifle, lay waste, spread out of all control. Both may be used to guard intimacy or to invade it, to nurture or to consume.”- Sissela Bok
Have you ever heard the saying, “we are only as sick as our secrets?” Secrets are like a cancer to the soul, if nothing is done to remove them eventually they will eat us alive.
Not every secret is created equal. There are the secrets that we have to protect ourselves, they hide our guilt and shame. Then there are the secrets that we have to protect someone else, because of a fear of what would happen if the truth came out. Then there are also the secrets we don’t want to keep, but at the same time we don’t know how to tell.
We might feel hopeless sometimes because we feel no one knows the real us. Our fears, pain and heart cries may never be heard by another, but our Father in heaven hears even the words that are never spoken!
I find relief in knowing that nothing is hidden from God. I don’t have to try and explain to God why there are these secret places in my heart, He already knows. God is omniscient! He loves us too much to leave us sitting in the darkness that the secrets produce. He wants us to invite him into the hidden rooms of our heart that we have, the rooms that lock away all of the painful experiences. We struggle with opening such doors because behind them lie secrets and emotions so black, we ourselves are ashamed to face them. It’s more comfortable to keep the rooms locked. Not only are we hiding what’s behind that door, but we are hiding behind it as well.
Secrets kept hidden become barriers, if we hold them and our hurt closer to us then God. We cling to them believing that they keep us from feeling further hurt, but the truth is they keep us from feeling the love and peace that comes with a close intimacy with Jesus Christ!
The thought of trusting Jesus enough to be that open is scary, trust me I know. But God doesn’t give up on us that easy. He doesn’t just knock a couple times, gets tired of us and walks away. God pursues us, and he doesn’t just stop at salvation but continues until we have given ourselves completely over to him. He will lovingly pursue us right up to the hidden places in our hearts!
Once we let him in, he can clear out all the hurt and pain. God never takes anything from us without replacing it with something better. He takes the pain, gives healing. Takes the fear, gives peace. Takes the hate, gives love. If we are willing to let him help us confront our secrets, we can lean on him instead of turning to the worlds ways of numbing. He will be our strength in our times of weakness.
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (KJV)
God is our help! He has never failed us when we turn to him and he won’t start now!
I know this to be true in my life. Physically as well as spiritually, I know what it’s like to be bound.
I’ll share a detail with you about some of my abuse. One of my abusers would use a pair of police handcuffs, to handcuff my hands. He would also blindfold my eyes, and to this day every time I see a red bandana I think about some of the stuff that went on. After a while you fight less and less because you know on your own you will never get free, so you give up.
There is guilt that comes in giving up. You are haunted by endless “if only I had…” when truth is there is nothing on your own that you can do to get free. What is being used to put you in bondage is stronger then you are. It’s the same way when we are bound spiritually. On our own we can never get free, so we stop striving to get free. Which is exactly what the enemy wants us to do.
I don’t know about you but when I was in bondage to sin and my addictions, I was miserable and hopeless. It was a very dark place. You feel like you are in a “dungeon of sin.” It’s like a dark pit, that’s too deep to crawl out of. Your struggling is no match for the chains keeping you bound.
Only God can reach down in a pit that deep and pull us out. Only God can break the chains of bondage. But they are no match for the Saviour!
No matter how hopeless you may feel in your sin, there is hope! Jesus came to set the captive free.
Isaiah 61:1, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;” (KJV)
That was why Jesus was sent to earth to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound!
But how do we get set free? ( I’m so glad you asked) 😉
Freedom is found in forgiveness. All we have to do is call on Him and He will come running.
Psalm 103:3-4, “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” (KJV)
Jeremiah 29:12-14a says, “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall SEEK me and FIND me when you search for me with ALL your heart. And I will be found of you. saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity.” (KJV)
Do you know why He says to seek Him with ALL our heart? Because out of our heart are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23) He promises we will find Him when we seek Him.
You don’t have to live life in bondage any longer. There is a way of escape, just call on His name. There is freedom in forgiveness!
I pray if you haven’t already experiences this freedom that one day you will! 🙂