Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Stomping On the Lies

I told you all at the end of June that I was planning on shutting down all avenues of social media and simply enjoying the time with my family.
It was amazing.
Though I missed blogging, and interacting with you all, I felt so connected with not only my family, but also myself, and God.

The same time that I put my phone away, I picked up my bible.
I did a 30 day read through the bible, which saw me gorging on the word for about two hours every day. It was a download, let me tell you.
The biggest thing that I gleaned from that experience was an overall look at the bible, in essence, an overall look at who God is, how humanity functions, and what God wants our relationship with Him to look like. I learned so much.

For the first couple of weeks, I felt genuinely happy as I could feel God strip away all of the layers that I am guilty of plastering on every day. The joy continued to accumulate and spill over, and I remember one day I said to myself, "I don't think I could be any happier." I mean, not only did I feel these connections with family and friends, but I also was camping beside a beach. What could be better than jumping in the lake on a hot day, or taking a nap on a blanket atop the sand in the cool of the shade after a full day of camping adventures?

Then, I suddenly came crashing down to earth, from my little paradise, as the last layer stripped away. There was nowhere to run from my feelings, I was raw, exposed.
The things that I have hesitated to deal with hit me like a freight train, all at once.

 Somehow, I knew that it was coming. I think God gave me that extra joy to prepare me for what I was about to go through.
A spirit of heaviness, and loneliness came over me. I was attacked by lies that I had put a blanket over. Bombarded by issues that I thought I had already dealt with, I felt like I was suffocating.

"You are unlovable."
It became my heartbeat as I rode my bike away, alone, to a secluded place where I could overlook the water, and watch the sun fade behind the hills. The truth is that I had been hurt, I had stuffed the hurt, and now it threatened to overtake me.
"What do you want me to learn from this?" I have tried to make a habit of asking this question every time I feel like I'm going through a valley.
His answer came quickly, "I want Me to be all that you need."
I wept as struck me then how much worth I put into the actions and reactions of people I call, or once called my friends. How much pressure I place on myself to fit in, to be accepted, even to be loved. How Jesus is standing there, waiting to shower me with all of the love, and acceptance that I need, but I am running around desperately trying to find it in all of the wrong places.

The admittance of that began my healing.

Immediately returning from my short hiatus, I was faced with another obstacle. Once again, being alone, but this time in the physical sense.
I have been deathly afraid of being alone in the water for as long as I can remember. Anytime I would try to swim on my own, I would feel like the deepness, and the unknown below me threaten to swallow me up. I hated swimming. I could hardly stand being in the water after skiing, waiting alone for the boat to pick me up. I had even tried while we were camping to swim off, even just a little bit without anyone beside me, but would always have to return to avoid a panic attack.
When our friends came to camp with us, they got us into swimming across the docks, which is a good distance, especially for my non-swimming self. I actually began to enjoy swimming, slowly feeling my fears of the deep slipping away.
That day, everyone had gone ahead and swam across the docks.

I was faced with the choice as the rain began to softly cause ripples in the water. I was so sick of my fear, that I jumped in without a second thought. I would physically conquer the the fear that manifested so deeply in my soul.
It was in the middle of the lake that I had my breakthrough. While the darkness threatened to drown me, I said aloud His promise.
"When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me."
Slowly the light overcame the deep. The shadows fled, and I swam.

Once I pulled myself out of the water, God shone the light in my heart through the hands of a little child, the cheers from those I love, and I finally believed.
I will always be surrounded by love, because God is love.

The next day, I stomped on the lie.
I am not unlovable.
God made me to be exactly who I am.
I will stop seeing rejection as a belittling of who I was created to be.
I will shine the light that I am called to.
Because no matter who comes and goes, I will never be forsaken, I will always have a best friend, because I have Jesus.
He is enough.


Aunt Ruth said...

Thank you for sharing this.Deeply thought provoking, relate-able and vulnerable.

Josh and Rebecca Pauls said...

Such well written words. Your heart is gold. Im so sorry that you had to learn this lesson the way that you did. But don't you forget it now! You are always loved by HIM!
Love you girl!