This is part 14
start from the beginning HERE
start from the beginning HERE
One of the defining characteristics of people who struggle with depression is being far too self critical. Taking the problems, character flaws, mistakes one makes and blowing it up out of proportion. I have been cognizant recently at how pride even resides in these thoughts as well. That on some level it is as though I believed I had the ability to be perfect, and I simply was not living up to my potential. That I was scared to death of criticism of which I felt was unjustified, even though all I did was criticize myself. I did it for them, I did it for the Lord. Either way, this ruminating constantly on how horrible you are takes its toll, day in and day out.
You see, so many lies that we are told by the Enemy are couched in a half truth. Because I knew there were some portions of the things I didn't like about myself that were true, that self hatred was then justified. I am selfish, fat, poor, inadequate, too emotional, too much, not enough, but those were were not who I was, they were not my identity any more than ministry/missions girl. I was still Ashley, loved by God, redeemed, righteous through faith, even with extra weight and far too many overwhelming tears. I just could't see her, I couldn't believe that. All I could believe were lies, because that was all I rehearsed in my mind continually.
As Jesus began to come in and do His saving work, yet again, He started helping me replace those thoughts and hold on for dear life when I didn't feel strong enough or know how. Asking for healing means letting God shine a light on on what is broken, and trusting Him, moment by moment.
This was that process for me.
May 22, 2013
When you ask the Lord to show you your roots of brokenness....
be ready for Him to do so.
I know I both need to know these things to be healed and want to know.
Yet at the same time did not realize that it would hurt this much.
God has begun to show me clearly where and why I think and behave the way that I do.
Things that have paralyzed me, depressed me, haunted me, and confused me.
..It's crazy because for so long I have wanted to go to therapy, but we don't have the money for that at the moment. But I told the Lord, "You are the Great Counselor" and I need you to counsel me. And He is. He is revealing things I need to recognize, confess, grieve, forgive, etc. The wonderful thing about going to Dr. God is that He not only reveals in order to process, but can also heal, free and bring into wholeness.
I have always had this sense that I need to "hurry up and be better".
Perhaps I think of my brokenness as a burden, my processing of pain as annoying and so I need to hurry up past this imperfection to become easier, for both myself and others.
But I am so overly aware that this is not a race.
That I am not going to wake up today, tomorrow, or even the next day and be whole and healed and ready, no matter how much I wish I could be.
And this is where I am changing.
Changing my thinking and changing my response to myself.
I choose to be my best friend, my cheerleader, my encourager.
To offer grace to myself instead of hatred.
Telling myself things like...
"It's ok to cry about that"
"Its ok to feel that and hurt about that"
"take your time"
"your beauty is far deeper than your appearance"
"its OK to love yourself and find beauty and be nice to yourself"
I am finding myself constantly thinking about how I can't control what others think of me, but I can control what I THINK!
If they choose to hate me, judge me, criticize me, well that is their problem, that is their issue.
I am aware that my issues are big enough to fill my hands without having to control or worry about others. But I can choose to be kinder to myself. To be brave. To not be controlled any longer by guilt or fear. To stand up in who I am, and to take the time to figure out who that is.
That actually, it's been allowing God to love me and show me how He loves me that is making this change in me. That He is there, walking with me, helping me, and wiping every tear, holding my hand and laying my head on His knees. Never in a hurry, just letting me be, just letting me go through it...and reminding me all the while that healing doesn't happen over night. To be patient with myself and that I don't have the ability or resources to heal myself, but He does.
Never in my life has the "His strength is made perfect in my weakness" been so real to me.
I will start to feel like I am drowning again. Feeling those old feelings of being trapped and stuck and hopeless and I will tell Him...
"Lord, I have no idea what to do! Don't let me go back there. Please help"
and HE DOES!
To be honest I am on a path of a bit or maybe a lot of trepidation.
I am literally broken open.
There they are, those yucky, ugly roots.
And we all know how it feels when our roots of our teeth are exposed.
And yet everyday the Lord takes me a little further,
replaces truth for the lies that I have believed for so long.
And even as I type this my three year old is playing his little paper guitar and singing that
Reliant K song....
and even this is a reminder from the Lord...
"and I won't sit back, and take this anymore, cause I'm done with that, I got one foot out the door. To go back to where I was would just be wrong. I'm pressing on"
I feel a fight in me today, a renewed energy.
That renewal of my mind is happening.
That I choose to think different thoughts about myself and different thoughts about others,
even strangers. That I am actually desperate for the mind of Christ and hanging onto Him for dear life for hope and freedom. I am so aware that this is not going to happen without His miraculous help.
And He is doing a miraculous healing in me.
And my sister and my husband have given me the greatest compliment that makes me cry...
that they see I am changing.
Glory to the Lord!
That the way I use to respond and the way I could not process before and would just shut down and be trapped in hopelessness, that I am choosing differently. I have a perspective and understanding that I haven't had before.
And slowly I will become who God says I am. I will let go of who I think I am supposed to be, and just be me. And find a way to love myself, even when I am not perfect. That I can work towards being a better me in mind, body, spirit, etc...but not through hating myself to perfection, but rather love.
This is how God works with me, with all of us. And I will honor Him by doing the same.
Glorify yourself through my healing Lord.
To be continued...
, by Ashley Jackson