Emotional Healing

Let’s Talk Mental Health

February 11, 2018
Let's Talk Mental Health

|| m e n t a l  h e a l t h || let’s talk mental health for a hot minute. Depression. Anxiety. Worthlessness. I know the struggle all too well. The stigma around mental health is not as taboo as it once was, but I still feel that the shame of admitting that you’re not okay is just as real today, as it ever was. It can be a huge chore just to pull yourself out of bed somedays. I know that pretending you’re okay seems to be the only option. I know that actually diving into your issues can seem downright unbearable. Segregation comes easy, & distancing yourself from people who truly care may feel like the only option. The downward spiral into darkness as you pull away, continues to grow deeper & deeper until you can’t even see the light at all. At your darkest it seems like this is your life. It feels like nothing will or can ever change & at times it feels like you are destined to be this way forever. That dark place is empty, scary, hopeless, & lonely. Until you’ve felt the ache of mental illness I don’t think you really understand how hard it is to open up & be vulnerable…but man oh man is it necessary! We have an enemy who comes to seek, kill, & destroy, and the biggest lie that loser will tell you is that you are alone & nobody cares. But it NEEDS to become your truth that it is a LIE.

From the depths of my hopeless depression, Jesus placed me in the midst of people who not only helped me climb out of that hole, but they sincerely loved & cared about getting me out of it. Jesus helped me to realize the lie for what it was. People DID care, I DID need help, & Jesus showed me that I seriously could not do it on my own.  There is hope! There is always hope. Trust (as hard as it is)that Jesus will bring you into a brighter future, & trust that Jesus will show you people who not only will help, but want to help. Cling to His word, for it is truth, & take that first step! You are worth so much more than you know. 💕 This will NOT be your life. If He can help get me out, He can help get anyone out.

Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

Relationships

You Were Never Meant To Be Someone’s Option

January 14, 2018
You Were Never Meant To Be Someone’s Option

Having several options in life is undeniably a perk we are blessed with. The option of who your friends are, the option of where you choose to work, and even the option of where you decide to call home. You get the option of what to do with your free time, and the ultimate option of how you decide to live your life. These options are based on the free will that we all have, and are all important aspects of who we become. Different options impact the choices we end up making. But what happens when you find yourself as one of the options in someone else’s life? What do you do if your constantly just treated as one of many choices? Do you stay and wait it out? Hoping and praying that you’ll eventually be chosen? Or do you turn around and hit the ground running?

If there was one word that sums up my life, it’s striving. Striving for love. Striving for perfection. Striving to just be wanted. I constantly was striving for that perfect relationship. I wanted to find someone to make me happy so incredibly bad that I was forcing certain people into my life that were never meant to be there. I was struggling to cram pieces of a puzzle together that were never designed to fit and would then end up complaining when I found out my puzzle was a disaster. I clung to guys that were not right for me, all in hopes that one day they might be, if I just waited long enough.  I put myself through some dark and rough situation-ships all because I thought I was no one without someone.

I look back to the relationships I was trying to force in the past few years and in all honesty, it makes me cringe. If only I would have listened to my friends! I am not saying that it’s all the guys fault, it takes two to tango after all. But all I see is a broken and desperate girl who was clinging to the hope that a broken situation-ship will miraculously turn into a blooming romance. The relationships were just two unknowingly broken people struggling with their inabilities to express emotions and it always lead towards a path of destruction.  Every single time.  After multiple failed attempts at holding on, eventually someone was getting their heart broken. I was on both the receiving and giving end of this heartbreak, and instead of taking time to heal the pain I felt inside, I would slap an emotional band-aid on it, ignore it and move on to the next one. I found that every relationship was getting worse and worse and I was literally putting myself through hell bending over backwards for guys who didn’t honestly care. I stayed unhappy just so I could call some disaster of a relationship mine. Can you relate?

I wish I could go back in time and tell that poor girl to save herself from all the unnecessary heartbreak by simply taking a step back. I wish she would have learned that being alone is okay. That taking time to figure out her pain, is okay. It’s okay to be broken. It’s okay to be hurt. It’s okay to be an utter and complete mess for a while… But it’s not okay to depend and expect a guy to fix that mess. I wish I could tell her that when she was told that she didn’t need a man to be happy, it was the truth. But I know that being in the grasps of those dark emotions and having blinders on to just how much of a mess you are inside, it’s next to impossible to see the light. It’s hard to understand that you deserve better and that there is someone better. That there is a chance for you to change, and that it is okay to walk away from toxic people who bring you nothing but pain. But I also know that when you are so lost and so hurt that you can’t see the relationship for what it truly is, it’s an entirely different mess of its own.  That girl never would have listened.

I understand now that I would cling to those fleeting moments of connection because my soul was longing to be whole. I would look to someone else to fix my problems because it was hard for me to face them myself. I let other people treat me like garbage and get away with it because it was easier than being alone.  I treated other people just as bad because it was hard to worry about someone else’s feelings when I couldn’t even face my own. It was an ugly place to be in. I no longer blame the guys for all my pain, because I didn’t expect any better from them. I wasn’t innocent in any of the relationships and instead of walking away, I held on to something that was slowly tearing me apart. I was broken, and they were too. It’s a less than ideal situation to base a relationship off of… It hurts when you’re treated as an option, rather than a priority.

But, there is hope! The man God intends for you will not see you as one of many options, he will see you as the only option. True words right there ladies! If he isn’t giving you the time of the day, why are you wasting so much of your precious time and energy forcing him to pay attention to you? Don’t you think you’re worth more than someone who is putting in minimal effort and giving you less than mediocre quality time? Shouldn’t he want to genuinely be there with you? The man that God has chosen for you will not play games, he will not call one day and ignore the next, he will not give you mixed signals, and he will not treat you like you’re just a side piece. The man that God intends for you will not have just a few of the qualities you’re looking for and then a few that if you try really hard you can make fit. He will be the perfect match because he was intended for you and only you. You won’t have to force it and you will know it’s the perfect fit. God wants to be involved. So will you allow Him?

The moment I released finding the perfect man for me into God’s hands was so unimaginably freeing. I stopped worrying about “missing out” on meeting him, or forcing someone who I deep down knew was not the right fit, to be the right fit. I now know that God will take care of finding the perfect man. Let God be your matchmaker. You can try to force any old Joe blow into the mold of Mr. Right, but at the end of the day you’re only going to cause yourself more heartbreak when it crashes and burns. I know that no relationship is perfect, and every relationship has it’s ups and downs… but forcing something that was never meant to be is only going to add to your burden. If you wait on the one that God created for you, you’re not going to be disappointed.

I don’t know when dating has gotten so messy, but it’s a war zone out there. You constantly are having to live life on the defense because you never know when the guy you’re falling for is going to duck out, even if things seem to be going fantastic. Honestly, it’s exhausting. It’s time consuming and putting your heart on the line is difficult. As women of God we are taught to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) and this is even more crucial in the dating world that we know today. You honestly may have to watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing. Just because he says he is a man of God, doesn’t mean he is the guy for you. Create boundaries, stick to your values. Don’t bend. If God has placed characteristics in your heart that you are looking for in a partner than believe he will provide the man that has those qualities.  Don’t bend your desires just so you can find any man to marry. Wait and focus on what God is telling you. If the answer is wait, then as hard as it is… wait.  You know He knows what’s best.

I finally learned to take a step back and I allowed Jesus completely into my life- including my love life. I started working on becoming the whole person God intended for me to be before I started searching for another whole person. I’m not a half looking for someone to make me whole, and I don’t depend on anyone else to fix what I can’t. The right person is going to add to who you are, not complete you. The only person who can truly satisfy the parts that are missing in your life is Jesus. If you base your happiness and your striving on material things or people who constantly are coming and going, how can you ever be satisfied? Take your single years to search for God. Take the time to develop the most important relationship you will ever have. It is life and death after all.

 

Lamentations 3:25   The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Faith

Curing the Christmas Blues

December 27, 2017
Curing the Christmas Blues

Typically, the Christmas season is a time of love, laughter, joy, and celebration. The joy of spending much needed time with people you cherish the most, the exquisite beauty of the decorated tree and lights, the excitement of waking up Christmas morning to exchange gifts, and ultimately should be about the celebration of the greatest gift of all- the birth of Jesus Christ. So where do you turn when your Christmas season isn’t turning out to be what you expected? How do you find joy in a time that might be anything but joyful at all?

Christmas is known around the world as the most wonderful time of the year, and generally, for the majority of people, I believe it is! But I have come to realize that for some, it can be one of the most heart-breaking times of the year. Another year without a loved one, another year where the lack of money stops you from giving what you truly want to give, and another year to realize just how lonely you really are. The usual joyous Christmas season can quickly end up becoming one of the most dreaded and heart-breaking times of the year. The feelings that accompany the way that Christmas is experienced is different for everyone, it all depends on your circumstances and your viewpoint from those circumstances. Does your focus on what you’re lacking, allow your joy to be lost? To quote Forest Gump:

“life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

 

I am sure that for many people reading this, you feel like every chocolate you choose, it ends up being one of those gross jelly filled ones. You may be constantly striving for one of the delicious caramel filled ones, but always end up disappointed when what you want, and what you get, are two vastly different outcomes.  In life, it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset of only seeing what we are lacking. It’s easy to complain about the things, people, or physical objects we don’t have, rather than being thankful and rejoice in the things that we do have.  It’s easy to take a one-way ticket to depression-ville, rather than spend a little bit of our time focusing on the blessings that are sitting right in front of us.  Now I know that it is sometimes just downright hard to search through the bad, and focus on the good. But I have also come to learn that even the smallest seed of gratitude can grow into something beautiful amidst the mess.

I initially started out experiencing the Christmas season on the other side of that joy this year. Certain circumstances put me in a situation where I would be doing Christmas a little bit different… the joy just wasn’t there for me like it had been in past years.  While I struggled with some tough decisions I quickly got lost in a “poor me” mentality, which was quickly sucking all the happiness I typically felt, out of the Christmas season.   It was so dang easy to get lost in all the ways I wished my situation was different. I was constantly praying over my situation and how I wished these circumstances were not as they were. As Christmas drew closer I became more and more bitter that God wasn’t changing things like I had asked.  In my bitterness I was quickly becoming some nasty combination of nasty old scrooge and the Grinch and thought about just skipping Christmas all together.

I was flipping through my bible Christmas morning and came upon John 10:10- “the thief does not come except to steal, to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”   I had tagged this bible verse a while back because past me, knew future me, would need this one day… turns out today was this day.  It really hit home to me that this season was not about what was lacking from my life, but what was present. Christmas isn’t about me. It isn’t about you. It isn’t about our hopelessness, and it isn’t about our circumstances. Christmas is really and truly about the ultimate present God gave to us, and that was Jesus. That’s where the true joy is found.  He came to earth, so we could truly experience life full of hope, fulfillment, joy, and contentment in every season of our lives.

I truly believe that God doesn’t want us to get lost in what we lack- physically, emotionally, or spiritually. He wants us to focus on what we do have, and that’s Him.  I believe that God didn’t change my situation this Christmas because He wanted me to take a step back this year and see Christmas for what it really was: His gift. His presence. Every year I get so wrapped up in putting significance on very unimportant things- like the presents, and the tree, and the lights, and who I’m with (which don’t get me wrong is very important) and where I’m at. In the chaos I lose the true reason for the season. In the past, the Christmas season had become superficial to me.  Even though I always knew the true meaning of Christmas was about Christ’s birth, I never truly celebrated it. This year I think God saw me walking back down that same path, and in typical fashion He threw me for a loop. He changed my circumstances so I had to changes my focus. He wanted me to focus back on Him and to focus  back on the true meaning of Christmas.  This year I believe He wanted it to be different, He wanted it to be about the gift He gave to me… the gift He gave to all of us, Jesus Christ.

Christmas truly is about how God sent His one and ONLY son to come and save us not only from our enemies, but from ourselves. He sent His precious son to an unsafe place so that we can have everlasting life through Him. He was also sent so we can have hope for the life that we live now. Let that sink in. He came to give us life… He truly does want what is best for us in our lives. Yes, things come out of left field we never expected, and truly awful things come crashing into our lives that we never deserved or asked for… I know we will never understand why these things happen, but I do know that God work’s all things out for good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28). While not every day is good, there is good in every day. If you base your happiness and your joy on what you do or do not have, you’re always going to be on an emotional roller-coaster ride. Things and people come and go continuously. But one thing remains constant and that is the love of Jesus. Knowing who He is and knowing that His love for us never changes, is the one thing we can count on day in and day out.  That is where we find our joy.

It’s so easy to forget and brush aside the fact that Jesus came down from Heaven where He was living the best life, to Earth, where He knew He would be living the worst part of His life. He came to be persecuted, rejected, and ultimately killed, all so that we could have hope for something better. He did all of this willingly, and knowingly that people would deny Him, would say He was a fake, and would turn their backs on Him all-together. I don’t know many people who would die for someone, knowing that that person whole-heartedly loves and accepts them; let alone dieing for someone knowing that that person may never love them back. So just imagine how deep and how wide that love is! God sent Jesus to save us from the hopelessness, from the disappointments, and from the heart ache we experience, by finding our true joy in who He is.  Christmas shouldn’t be about what we are lacking, but about what we have gained.

While life is like a box of chocolates, and we truly never will know what we are going to get, one thing we can rest assured of is that Jesus is constant. He is always with us always and He came to Earth so that we can have life! We can rejoice in the fact that while we will face trials and tribulations in the world, we will one day be set free from the pain that we experience day to day. The true joy of the Christmas season is found in the birth of a baby that was born in a manger. In the middle of the night, in the most unexpected way.

John 10:10

Emotional Healing

You Can’t Hide From Your Emotions

December 8, 2017
You Can’t Hide From Your Emotions

I have to admit…It has taken me a long time to learn there is no shame in showing your emotions. When was the last time you sat down and had a good cry? When was the last time you allowed yourself to really feel and process a situation that impacted you in a negative way? I was asked this question the other day and I realized the answer was “I can’t even remember.” Crying? Crying showed the world that I was hurt, and crying in front of someone showed others that I had a brokenness inside that I wasn’t ready to admit was there. I used to think that my deep emotions that accumulated from my past were something that should never talked about, rarely felt, and just stuffed into the furthest and deepest corner of my mind. I always dictated there was a time limit on how long I was allowed to feel bad about something and then I had to just force myself to forget it and move on, even if I wasn’t healed.  If I forgot about the event, then I could pretend that these painful wounds weren’t real. I could pretend that deep down, I wasn’t hurting.

I grew up in a relatively conservative family I guess you could say, where if someone was emotionally hurt, the wounds were just ignored in hopes that they would eventually just fade away. The negative situation was rarely resolved, and it was expected that we would just ignore the conflict and carry on as before. If that wasn’t going to happen, then I learned that you just ignore the person all together.  The ability to emotionally open up was not welcome, so rarely did any conflict ever resolve itself. Ignorance is bliss, right? I learned that If you just pretend you’re not hurt, then you’re not…. If I just tucked my emotional wounds away, there was hope they would eventually be forgotten. Emotions in general weren’t something I would say I ever became comfortable with. I learned to hide them well and the thought of them made me seriously uncomfortable, as I am sure many members of my family felt as well.

This is how I lived a majority of my life. Afraid of my emotions. Afraid to confront the uncomfortable emotion I was feeling. Afraid to let the pain of being hurt one more time, in to my heart. So, in order to protect myself, I gradually and unknowingly built up emotional walls. I built walls that some days seemed so tall, so wide, and so downright impenetrable, that not even an atomic bomb could break through.

I loathed feeling any uncomfortable emotion, as I’m sure many do. It’s never fun to be hurt, but by denying that I was, I slowly became less and less vulnerable to any emotions and my wall started to come through in my personality. If you hurt me, I was definitely not going to talk to you anymore, and if I hurt you, I would just pretend I didn’t in hopes that the talk we would have to have about “feelings” would never come about. I found that I would continuously pretend that the pain of rejection and abandonment wasn’t there and wasn’t impacting the choices I was making.

As I grew in my relationship with Jesus I tried even harder to forget my past and turn to Him. But at each turn I was met with more frustration and more anger as I continuously found my emotional wall getting in the way. I thought that because scripture teaches us to leave our past behind us, that I could just ignore it and pretend it didn’t bother me anymore. What I didn’t realize was that Jesus kept allowing this wall to get in front of me so that I was forced to confront it. He needed me to accept that it was there so that I would start to allow Him to tear it down.

He was making it clear that I needed to confront the painful emotional moments from my past in order to heal. I was no longer going to be able to blindly dance around the pain of my past in hopes that Jesus would forget it and give me a free pass to become the person He was sanctifying me to be.  It was terrifying sitting on the outside of the pain and wondering how it was going to feel to dive back in. The fear of feeling the pain was keeping that wall stuck in place. But you know what was even scarier? The loneliness that faced me if I kept that wall up. Jesus quickly made it known that He was going to be with me during the whole walk. That He was there to hold my hand through all the messiness and that He wasn’t ever going to give me anything more than I could handle. He was showing me how all the pain, rejection and shame I had ignored, was still carried around with me.

He slowly started to show me that if I kept pretending and continuing to ignore the fact that I had been hurt in my past, I was keeping myself from truly being free in my future. The past feelings of rejection, of abandonment, of shame, and of unworthiness was my dark and gloomy shadow. A shadow that constantly covered me in its darkness. If I didn’t deal with these wounds and allow Him to move in to heal them, they would follow me around forever.  This shadow and this seemingly impenetrable wall kept people who truly cared about me at arms length. It stopped me from even accepting the full capacity of the love of Jesus.

All I had to do was ask God to poke a peephole in that wall. I invited Him to start tearing that wall down brick by brick. It’s been slow, it’s been hard, it’s been eye opening, but mainly it’s been freeing. I still have days where I don’t know how things will ever change. But one thing I do have, is the Hope that God promised to us all repeatedly throughout the Bible. Jesus didn’t save us from our sins to let us sit around and live in the oppressive guilt of our pasts. He didn’t save us from our sins and from the curse of death to just leave us to wallow in our shame. He wants us to be over-comers! He wants to save us from the hurt of our pasts! He is sitting on the outside of our walls waiting for us to invite Him to peep over. He is ready to tear them down, if you are willing to allow Him to.

God wants to come in to every emotion of anger, of rejection, of abandonment, and of shame. He wants to show you just How loved and valued you are. It honestly doesn’t matter if you feel like God is working or not, He is there. Are you willing to accept it? My dear, you are the child of the most high King! You didn’t just slip in to salvation on the coat tails of others. You didn’t just slide in the back door unnoticed by Him. You aren’t the one person in this world who believes in the redemption bought by Jesus’s sacrifice and then in turn, that redemption doesn’t equivocate to  your past. If He can do it for Paul, He can do it for you. You need to know that He knows you. He knows every thought, every hurt, every emotion, every choice, and every mistake you’ve made. He knows, and He still wants you to come to Him for healing. His love for us is nurturing. It’s there to heal every wound, to heal all trauma, and to create in us a new identity. Jesus is always ready to get down and dirty with the ugly that is left inside of us.

What I have come to realize, is that God gave us emotions for a reason- all the good, the bad, and the ugly. They help us work through every aspect of our lives.  He rejoices with us in the good and he holds our hand through the bad. I truly believe if it hurts us, it hurts God. He doesn’t want to see us in pain… But while we live in this world it’s something we need to learn to deal with. The hope and faith that He wants to be with us through the pain and the valleys is life changing. This hope is the anchor for our soul.

I’m not saying coming to terms with your past is fun. It’s not easy and it’s somewhat downright discouraging when you feel like you can’t overcome. But I’ve learned (and am still learning) to be patient through it all and to trust in Jesus to walk me through this journey. He is the light in the darkness after all. As I dove back into my relationship with Jesus, I often looked at my past wondering where Jesus was during all the pain. I wondered why He allowed me to get so deep into the emotional torment of myself. Why didn’t He didn’t save me a long time ago? It was made so clear to me that it wasn’t that God wasn’t there, but it was based on the fact that I never let God in to handle my emotions. While I always believed God was real, I never invited him in to my mess. Jesus was always there watching and waiting to be asked for His healing, His wisdom, His guidance, and His love, but I was so stuck on the idea of fixing myself and doing everything on my own, that I never allowed Him to come in to truly come in to be the King of my life.

God was there in all the rejection. God was there in all the pain. But by keeping Him at arms length the whole time, I never let Him in to the painful emotions I was feeling. He was in the background waiting to be invited in to nurture every loss, every mistake, and every time I was told I wasn’t good enough. He waited through every heart break and through every emotional trauma.  Every trial- Jesus was there. You see, Jesus is a gentleman, He will not come crashing through your walls like the kool-aid man. Even if some days I wish He would come in like a wrecking ball, I have learned that He will wait until He is invited into the brokenness. He wants to come in and to take hold of your wounds and heal them, but you have too let Him. Learn to have patience as you walk this journey, it is not going to happen over night. But Jesus wants every single person to overcome our pasts. Nothing you have done is a surprise to Him. He knows, He forgives, and He wants us to be reborn into the life that He has planned for us. Know that you are not alone in this journey.  He is there to guide you and hold your hand through every situation you may face.

Jesus has made it so known to me that He is always here. to help us process our emotions. He has made it known to me that my past will not dictate my future as long as I am willing to accept His help… The hope of a future and the peace that comes along with knowing Jesus is our SAVIOUR has quickly become the comfort in my affliction and I hope He can become yours too.

Romans 8:31

Emotional Healing

Finding Hope In Your Brokenness

November 25, 2017
Finding Hope In Your Brokenness

I think the biggest misconception about diving back into your faith is that God waves His magic wand and life instantly gets easier for you. When life gives you lemons, it’s easy to make lemonade because well, you’ve got God on your team! If God is sovereign, God is good, God is almighty, and God’s love never fails, then we can mix those ingredients together and you’ve got the best tasting lemonade around, right? For me this wasn’t exactly the case as I journeyed back into my relationship with Jesus. I often found that my feelings of unworthiness and my feeling of being completely broken kept God at arm’s length. My lemons seemed to be the worst of the batch and I couldn’t ever see how God was going to turn them into something sweeter. I never felt like I could accept the fact that He loved me too. I found it difficult to accept that He had a greater plan for me.  I felt stuck and didn’t realize that He was waiting to turn everything around. I knew God loved everyone else, but I didn’t believe that He loved me. I knew that God could work miracles, but I didn’t ever believe it was going to happen to me. I thought I was the one person on this earth who was searching for God, but He wasn’t searching for me. Naive right? But it was how I felt deep in my inner core, and it was a huge hindrance in allowing me to dive deeper into my faith. So how do we find hope in God amidst all the brokenness that is within us?

We as Christians, are often told of God’s unending mercy and God’s limitless grace. The bible paints a beautiful picture of how we are to set our eyes on Jesus, on Heaven above, and not let worldly things hinder our faith in God’s goodness.  But what happens when you can’t accept the fact that Jesus loves you just as you are? That the grace and mercy He talks about so often in the bible is meant for you as well?

I struggled with being lost in my brokenness for as long as I could remember. I felt like God had left me alone and I would struggle with these dark emotions forever.  Some days were easier than others, but I often felt weighed down in my emotions and struggled to see where God was working in my life during these dark times. Naively, I used to think that becoming a Christian meant that my life was going to become instantly easier the moment I said yes to Jesus. That I was going to have a radical transformation and I would no longer struggle with the demons and dark emotions of my past. That I would wake up one morning, leave my past behind and head off into the glorious future that God had planned out for me. I no longer would deal with these feelings of unworthiness and heaviness. I saw people around me who had these radical transformations and because I wasn’t experiencing this change, I thought I was somehow so broken that not even Jesus Himself could save me.

What I have since come to learn, is that this is simply not the case. Nothing can separate us from God’s love.  I was watching a sermon by a pastor named Matt Chandler, who runs a church out of Dallas and he said something that profoundly hit home to me… “As a believer in Jesus Christ, thinking you are too broken for Him to save you is simply known as reverse pride. The idea that you are too far gone, that you are the worst of the worst, and that the salvation that comes with Jesus’s resurrection on that cross can’t possibly apply to you, is just as bad as thinking that you don’t need Jesus to be the King of your life at all.”

This hit me straight to the heart. God so loved the world that He gave his only son for us! This meant EVERYONE. He literally died for people who were going to turn against Him, who would commit heinous crimes, and people who would deny his existence all together. He is always there to welcome them with open arms when they accept Jesus as their savior. He died for them, so why did I think that this love didn’t also apply to me? This is where I learned the lesson that prayers really do get answered. As I started to ask Jesus to heal the brokenness in me, I slowly started to learn that the thoughts and emotions I had been feeling were not ones that God had given me. They were not how He thought of me. Those little lies that constantly plagued my mind were not coming from the One who loves us most. We have an enemy and he will do anything to make you think that you are not worthy of God’s love.  These little lies are placed in your mind to make you feel distant from God in hope that you will eventually turn your back on Him. Once you realize that these feelings are not yours, it becomes easier to realize that they are lies. I found that as I drew nearer to God, He drew nearer to me. Exactly like the bible says. God cannot lie, His words are truth. Once you learn who you are in God’s eyes, you have so much more power to turn from those nasty little lies that are placed in your mind to hold you back.

I’ve talked in past blog posts about how I was always looking for something or someone in this world to fill a void in my life.  This lead me to make some choices that were not in my best interest. When I got back into my faith, I quickly learned that what I was missing was Jesus. But at that same time, I dictated to myself that I was only worthy of God’s love once I became a better version of myself. That the person I was right now, wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t the prettiest, or the kindest, or the most selfless, and I definitely wasn’t the most giving person around.  I found myself surrounded by my weaknesses and I slowly started to feel the weight of them crushing all around me. The guilt I felt for how I had been living my life came in like a tidal wave and further fueled the brokenness that I felt. I found that I would try on my own to fix my weaknesses and was ashamed of the ones that I had. This is exactly when Jesus showed up for me. I learned that His grace and His mercy shine brightest through our weaknesses. The areas of our life where we cannot seem to overcome, that’s when our need for Him is the greatest. I’ve since learned to accept the areas of my life I cannot change, as the areas He works the greatest in. It affirms my need for Him and generates more and more thankfulness for the fact that He loved us so much that he died for us. It’s a humbling view point to recognize the need you truly need for Jesus.

Finding myself in Christ has been a slow process, one that I am sure I hinder every day by focusing on things that shouldn’t be as important to me as they are. I constantly find that I am trying to control my life and make it how I think it should go. I am stubborn and am always trying to do things my way just one more time. But the brokenness that had always left me empty, quickly became the areas where God’s grace was the most present. He loves to be welcomed into broken peoples lives. He works with our brokenness. As soon as your start realizing that He loves you for exactly who you are in this very moment, that you don’t have to be the perfect Christian to attain His love, your whole life changes. At least it did for me.  There will still be days when you struggle, but knowing who you are in Christ and recognizing  the lies for what they are, is transformative.  God is always with you and nothing can separate you from that love.

It can be tough when you come face to face with your brokenness.  But isn’t that where God meets us? In our imperfections?  I do think that God is always working things out for our good, that He does have a genuinely good plan for each and every person, and that He is always with us. It’s often easy to get lost in the mess of our own lives and forget that He is always there. While the world may change around us, we have a God who never does. He is always for us. He is always there to show you how much He loves you. All you have to do is ask. We can always find His love, even amidst the mess, chaos, and brokenness of ourselves.

Christianity is not about us attaining perfection. It’s about learning that we are loved exactly as we are. Brokenness and all.

It’s about acknowledging our weakness and accepting the fact that we weren’t ever meant to save ourselves.

Be patient my dear, let God do His things on His time. Your brokenness is always welcome with Him. Accept who you are, including your flaws.

 

Phillipians 4:4

Relationships

Boys Don’t Dictate Your Worth

November 15, 2017
Boys Don’t Dictate Your Worth

Who do you find in your life that you continually allow dictate your self-worth? Is it your friends? An ex boyfriend? Or a stranger you barely know? A while back I had someone comment to me that my blogs were very one sided… that I was only portraying one side of the story, and that story was vastly unfair. In all reality, I can only portray one side of the story because that side is the side I have experienced… But I’m not going to lie, it seriously hurt me knowing that someone had a critical view about my honest words and all too real experiences.  I try to pour out my thoughts in an attempt to help other girls escape the negative cycle of emotions I had felt stuck in for far too long. It sat unsettled with me for a while, quite a while actually… way longer than it ever should have. I admit that I let the comment of someone who was basically a stranger to me, effect my view of my blog a little too much. I let once again, what some random person thought about my blog, dictate my worth. It discouraged me. I took it way too personal. I started to doubt what I was doing and if this is really where God had called me to be. I started to really think about this dilemma and how it mirrored my life. It took me back to those dark dark days where I constantly let what other people thought of me, dictate my self worth. So why did I let this person plant this seed of doubt in my head? Why did it bother me so much about what others thought?

I realized that deep down I was so scared of failure, scared of not being liked, and scared of not being worthy enough to share my experiences.  I realized that I really did care what everyone thought. I was scared that once again, I was not living up to some unrealistic expectation that I had dictated to myself. I felt like I was not as accomplished as I thought I should be at that specific point in my life. I mean, I am 27 and single… If I was going to be single, I had dictated that I needed to at least be successful in something! So, what are we supposed to do when we feel defeated? When we feel like we have no purpose, and we feel like what we are doing doesn’t matter?

After weeks of letting this wound fester within me, I soon came to realize that I was letting the opinion of someone else control my reality. It truly did not matter what this person thought- about my blog, or about me. One person’s view of me cannot dictate who I am. I had to learn to stop caring about what everyone else thought about me. Once again, the disease to please had reared its ugly head. But God showed me that in life we are always going to face opposition. Someone is always not going to like you, like what you are doing, or like how you are living your life.  But what we as women need to learn, is that we need to stay true to who we are, and who we are called to be!

God has such a beautiful life planned out for each and every person. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you are at in your life, we all are put here on this earth for a specific and important purpose. We have worth in Jesus, even if you don’t feel that way at this very moment. We may struggle day to day with finding our purpose, or even struggle daily to find our worth. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t matter and we aren’t loved. It can be hard to accept the love HE so freely gives when you’re at a low point in your life. But we still need to know that no matter the circumstance, we are worth more than rubies in Gods eyes. No matter what the world says, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made! Our worth should never be dictated by some person who doesn’t know us, or by some boy who doesn’t care enough to really care.

I have such a special place in my heart for girls who have been broken by boys who don’t see the value of the girl standing in front of them. It breaks my heart to see these beautiful girls give all of themselves to boys who don’t appreciate their value and beauty. It’s a shame that these boys are so blinded and broken themselves that they don’t think these girls are anything more than someone to mess around with until the next good thing comes around. What’s an even bigger shame is that girls think they aren’t worthy of a man who treats them like they deserve to be treated. I’ve been there, and it’s not a fun place to be. Feeling like you don’t matter unless you have the attention of a boy is a lonely place. I realize that not every couple works out, but there is a difference between being incompatible and stringing someone on because you’re afraid of being alone. If a boy isn’t going to treat you how you know you deserve to be treated, then ladies move on. Seriously! If he is causing you more heartbreak than happiness, say goodbye! The longer you hold on to an emotionally unavailable man who doesn’t respect you, the more time you are wasting from finding the one who will. This may be cliché, but ladies it is the cold, hard, honest truth!

The pressure to fit into a perfect cookie cutter mold of the “perfect” woman in 2017 is so unrealistic. Yet so many of us strive to be that woman. The woman that social media dictates us to be. It’s so easy to lose the beauty that is really your authentic self when you start comparing your worth to women who seem to have it all. Comparison is the thief of joy, after all. You are never going to like who you are if you set unrealistic goals of who society dictates you should be. What is so wrong with the girl staring at you from the mirror? God made you. God loves you. You may not be the prettiest, or the skinniest, or even the funniest, but those little quirks that you try to hide, are exactly what makes you so special and authentic.  When you stray from your authentic self, I truly and honestly believe you are only hurting yourself. How exhausting is it to play make believe all day, every day? (hint: it’s exhausting!) Soon you get so used to playing pretend that you lose who you truly are, and when that happens it is near impossible to be honestly happy with your life.

We were all made to be different. You are you! And my dear, that is perfect in God’s eyes. Find your worth in Jesus. He is the only one who can show you the kind of love your heart truly desires.

I struggled with the feeling of shame for who I was for as long as I can remember. I never liked who I was, so I found my new identity in drinking at a decently young age. It was easy to hide behind the party girl identity. It was easy to make friends when you’re the life of the party. It’s easy to play make-believe when you’re not of sober mind. But soon that lifestyle became unfulfilling and I tried to fill the empty void I felt with myself by searching for my validation in boys. I thought all I needed was a prince charming to come save me, sweep me off my feet and magically everything would be fall in to place.  But this didn’t ever happen, and all I ended up with was a string of boys who were searching for the same thing.  Together in our brokenness we created an even bigger mess, leaving one of us with an even bigger wound when the so-called relationship came to an end. We were both looking to fill a void that was only ever meant to be filled with Jesus.

Boys DON’T dictate our worth. Jesus loves all of us equally. He doesn’t give His love in pieces. It’s not insecure love. It’s not shameful love. It’s not convenient love. It’s not here today, gone tomorrow love. It’s empowering, self identifying, flaw including, shameless love. The greatest mistake of life is going through it not experiencing the love of God all because we are ashamed of who we are. Our worth is not found in our accomplishments, it’s not found in some boy, and it’s not even found in this world. If we allow circumstances and people to determine our worth, then guaranteed at some point, we will be let down. But if you root yourself in Jesus, then my dear, you’re going to find your worth and identity on a whole new unshakable level.

I’m sure there are many people who think what I am doing is stupid and that maybe my blog won’t amount to much, and maybe it won’t… but at this point in my life it has been confirmed to me time and time again, that I am doing exactly what God has called me to do during this season of my life. Sharing my side of how I let certain types of boys dictate my life and how I struggle daily with finding myself again, all with the hope that others can make the change too. So, if I can help just one person realize that God’s love for us is so much greater and deeper than the so-called love we think we are getting from an undeserving boy, then that’s a big check mark in the win column for me!

Psalm 4:1

sarah sig

 

Relationships

The Messiness of Breakups

October 19, 2017

Let’s face it. Never in the history of breakups has anyone ever said, “that breakup was fun!” Unless the person you’re breaking up with is a monster and you have no positive or genuine feelings towards them, you likely spend your time dreading an impending breakup. The hard time of being emotionally raw, heartbroken, and sometimes utterly lost is daunting at best. When the feelings you are experiencing are deep, breakups can leave you feeling like you are wandering around without a much-needed limb.  Every day tasks seem impossible, and even just getting out bed some mornings can be one of the hardest of things to accomplish. It’s easy to hide away and seclude yourself in your little den of depression where darkness seems to overtake you, and some days it’s hard to see any way out. When you have a life planned out with someone, and that life comes crashing down, it can be of the most catastrophic events you may face. So how do we learn to deal with the negative emotions in a positive way?

One thing I have learned from my past breakups and mistakes, that I seriously wish I could go back and slap my younger self in the face with, is to make sure you take the time to feel the pain. It’s messy, it’s uncomfortable, and it downright sucks. But you know what sucks even more? Taking that brokenness into another relationship and having it turn out the exact same way as the rest of your relationships. If you are not taking the time to heal your wounds, you’re unknowingly allowing yourself to carry them with you wherever you go, with whoever you encounter. You will soon find yourself in a situation where you are on an endless merry go round of toxic relationship, after toxic relationship. By continuously subjecting yourself to breakup after breakup, you lose the value of what love really is. Love isn’t meant to be messy all the time.

Yes, there are ups and downs- not every relationship is puppies and rainbows. But love isn’t mean to be heartbreak after continuous string of heartbreak. Love is hard, but love isn’t intentionally hurtful. There shouldn’t be more sadness than happiness. There shouldn’t be more pain than joy. When you lose the value of love and learn to just expect heartbreak, you start to build up a wall of emotional protection and let me tell you, eventually that wall becomes so impenetrable that not even prince charming himself can breakthrough.

Take the time to feel the pain. To learn to forgive. To grieve the end of the relationship. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to take all the time you want. There is no time limit on how long it takes you to get over someone. It doesn’t matter if it takes days, weeks, months, or years. Everyone deals with heartbreak different. Everyone deals with breakups different. Don’t let someone else dictate how, or when you should be over someone. Heartbreak is real, no matter how long or short you were with someone. Feelings are feelings and they should never be ignored. Everyone heals at different rates. Don’t rush it, if you rush through the process or use emotional band-aids to cover the problem, you run the risk of not healing completely. Not allowing yourself full healing is inevitably going to lead you back into the same situation– either with that same person, or with someone just like them.

You’re going to consider going back during the post-breakup period and I think that anyone who denies that they even gave it a moment of thought is a liar. Hey, you may even do it a time or two. But through each breakup (hopefully it doesn’t end up being multiple) you will learn to see through the façade of a “healthy” relationship you may have thought that you had. If you are anything like me, you learn these lessons the hard way. I gave way too many chances, to all the wrong people. I still do, I am a work in progress.  I used to beat myself up for giving someone the time of day who I knew didn’t deserve it. But now I have learned to see it as a learning experience. I’m not perfect, I get lost in old feelings. But that’s exactly what they are… old feelings.

It’s easy to go back to what you knew. What’s scary is facing the unknown. The possibility of a future without someone you are so used to having around is terrifying. I would hold on to people I knew where not right for me, all because I was terrified of what my life would be without them in it. I had become comfortable in my own mess. Even though it was a mess, it was my mess, and I knew how to haphazardly navigate it. Even when the final destination of that navigation was always heartbreak. I knew how to deal with that heartbreak and breakups- patch it up haphazardly and on to the next one… if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you all know how well that worked out for me.

Never did I ever think that it was necessary to allow myself to truly feel the feelings that came along with breakups. I never wanted to feel the disappointment, the sadness, or the aloneness. So I would find any outlet I could to distract myself. I do think that during a breakup you need to find reasons to get out of bed in the morning, distractions are needed to keep yourself from fully giving into the self-pity that may come with a breakup. But completely shutting out the emotions is what I continuously found myself doing. I pretended that I wasn’t hurt, or that I didn’t really care and I would bury my emotions. Ignorance is bliss, right? I was in denial. Denial about the disaster of a dating life that I had. Denial about how hurt I really was when another relationship didn’t work out. In denial about how much I needed some help.

I wish I had some secret formula I used to navigate the mess of a breakup and to learn to heal my heart.  That A+B= C and boom, you’re fixed. I tried everything, and I mean ev-er-y-thing. I found myself getting to a certain point in my healing and then would hit a wall and be stuck, not knowing which way to turn. No matter what I did, that wall was not moving. But you know what finally changed? I turned back to my faith. So, I guess in turn that is the secret formula.

You see, I finally got to the point in my life where I gave up on doing it on my own. I realized that I couldn’t do it on own. I don’t think we are meant to deal with the messiness of breakups on our own. We aren’t meant to have to focus on healing ourselves alone. I’ve learned that I have weaknesses that I simply am unable to heal or deal with on my own, but in those weaknesses I can count on Jesus to help get me through.  Psalm 34:18 became a verse that I leaned on during the times I was at my lowest. “The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” He can heal all wounds. He can turn everything around if you just allow Him to help. He is always there ready to help you if you just ask.

By finding my way back to my relationship with God, I have started to realize what true, no strings attached love is. I started to focus my attention back on Jesus and slowly my tolerance for things of my past melted away. I’m not saying I don’t have days that I don’t look back at things in my past and miss them, I’m human… But I do have a much larger hope for a greater and better future. You know what? It’s taken time. It’s taken patience, and it’s caused me to deal with some pretty deep emotions.  I’m still learning, I still mess up and I know I will always mess up. I have my days of doubts, and my days of darkness still come and go (although much fewer). But I have hope now. Knowing that I am not alone in this, and that I wasn’t meant to deal with a string of dark and harmful emotions all the time was life-changing for me.

I hope that every girl or guy who reads this blog realizes that they deserve so much more than a continuous string of boys or girls who don’t care enough to really care. Don’t waste your time trying to push a relationship that brings you more sadness than happiness. If someone is continuously taking advantage of the love you so freely give, it’s time to walk away. I know breakups are tough. But take the time to allow yourself to be healed, to feel the pain, and to realize that you deserve more. I do think it’s always going to be a continuous path, it doesn’t happen over night. You’ll grow over time and learn so much more about yourself than you can imagine- the good, the bad, and the ugly. But when you realize what love is really supposed to be, your tolerance for anything less becomes greater.

Psalm 34:18

 

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