I struggle with trying to be all I can be and more for so many different people on a daily basis. I feel I have to be perfect in every aspect of my life. No room for error. As I sit here pondering over this, my heart is heavy. I am not perfect and there is a big weight of some of my mistakes that weighs heavy on me. I am so full of guilt and resentment and shame. I feel such a loss and sadness I cant even begin to explain. I have to put it out there. I am not perfect, I am not the perfect mother, wife, step mom, boss, co worker, house keeper ex wife, daughter, friend christian this list could go on and on….No matter how hard I push myself or how hard i try. Point is I am not perfect. I know this and i have used this to determine who I am… in my mind i am my mistakes my screw ups. What i have to realize is I am not my mistakes.. I may not be perfect but I do love with all my heart. I work hard at everything and I never give up. Things get hard and I keep pushing through. I care and have compassion for others. I reach out and help others. But most importantly of all these, I am God’s child. I am not a mistake. I make mistakes, yes but i am not my mistakes. I am forgiven and I am redeemed. My chains ( my mistakes) that have held me back for so long have been broken because God entered my heart and my life and He calls me His own. I make a lot of mistakes and I am a mess, yes thats true but what else is true is that I am God’s mess!!
What do you do when you feel your drowning? That no matter how hard you scream you’re not being heard. That you feel like your suffocating on your own emotions because you left them bottled up for so long afraid to let them out afraid you will be told it’s all in your head or afraid that if you show any signs of weakness your world around you will crumble at your feet. When fear of family’s reactions and fear of self-doubt and fear of your own identity consumes you and you feel you have nowhere to go. What do you do when you feel trapped and lost…? you feel stuck….and the walls you have worked so hard to tear down for the last 2 years have slowly been rebuilt. What do you do and where do you go? How do you move forward?
I am struggling with this right now in my own life. I’ve fooled myself into believing that I had this under control. That it’s just the way life is and feeling anything negative or showing any feelings about it was pointless. It wasn’t going to help. It just makes me weak and I don’t have time to be weak. I have to be strong for my husband and my kids. If they see me fall apart then they will fall apart because im the glue in this family. I’m the referee. The go to for them all. I don’t have time to have any sort of emotional breakdown. I have to prove what a strong independent woman I am. I have to be a strong independent woman. That is what is expected of me by most people in my life. No matter what life throws at me. I can’t rely on any help. I have to be strong and independent and do it all on my own. Why does the world teach us this? Why do we buy into it?
All of these things have lead me to a deep state of depression that I can’t seem to pull myself out of and I find the depression is coming and going more frequently and lasting longer each time. Again It shows weakness to admit that and get help for that at least that’s what I feel is being screamed at me every day. I have to be a strong independent woman and I have to suck it up and push through all the pain in my life like it’s not there. The emotional pain, physical pain, the exhaustion all of it. I have to keep pushing and keep pushing pretending it’s not there because that’s what my family expects from me that’s, what work expects from me, that’s what most people in my life expects of me. I push more and more down every day because I have to be a strong independent woman.
How many others feel this way? How many others have been sucked into the worlds way of thinking? What do we do to get out of this mindset and drag ourselves out of this pit we have allowed ourselves to fall into and dig deeper into?
Instead of holding on to this all and trying to cope on my own, I need to turn to the only one who can tru;ly free me from this. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I need to stop letting satan enter my thoughts and having control over me. I need to get out of my own way and stop listenting to the voices of the world. Crying doesn’t make me weak. Feeling sad or lost or alone doesn’t make me weak. What makes me weak is trying to fix it alone trying to hold on to the control I don’t have never had. What makes me weak is not allowing myself to feel and turning that pain over to God. Allowing myself to feel and going to God in prayer with it. I need to pray boldly .I need to trust that God will see me through and not worry about the people on this earth and their beliefs about me and what I should do or who I should be or who I am …. I am God’s child and I am weak without Him I am only strong in Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior who saved me and gave His life for mine. I am weak But He is strong and because I love Jesus and He lives in my I have the strength to carry on!!
1 John 3:20 For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything
Isiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
John 11:35 Jesus wept.
Psalm 118:6,8 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me?… It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
Psalm 27.1 The LORD is my light and my salvation–so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
Psalm 138:3 As soon as I pray, you answer me;
you encourage me by giving me strength.
Psalm 28:6-8 Praise the LORD!
For he has heard my cry for mercy.
7The LORD is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
8The LORD gives his people strength.
He is a safe fortress for his anointed king
Needless fear in times of storms
Mark 4:35-41 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
38Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
39When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
The Bible had this to say about depression:
2 Samuel 22:17,19,20 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters……They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support……. He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
2 Corinthians 7:6 But God, who comforts the downcast…..
So i am having one of those pity party feel sorry for me moments right now. Work is hard and people suck blah blah blah blah blah. If i really stop and think about it though I am blessed beyond measure. yes life is hard and things are hard and stressful and exhausting. But i am truly blessed. I am God’s child first and for most. Jesus died for me…can you believe!! He died hanging from a cross as He bled out for a sinner like me. I am so not worthy of that kind of love, yet Jesus still chose to die for me. I have and amazing husband and though our marriage is not perfect and he has his flaws he loves me and I love him. We support one another and are always there for one another. We have 3 amazing children that we get to raise together. Although he may not be my eldest natural father he is still a father to her. He opened his heart to her and took her in under his wings as if she were his own. We have 2 crazy rambunctious boys together and as chaotic as life is with them and there are times i want to pull my hair out between the teen hormones and the hyperness of 2 little boys, i am blessed God chose us to be their parents. We both are able to work and have jobs as hard as my job can be at times and as stressed as i get and tired i am I am grateful i have a job. I remember what it was like before i began working again and where we were. I am thankful i have a job and it’s a place i can help others too. I am able to reach out to my customers and listen when they need to talk and help in other ways. I have a home and food,electric and running water. I have a vehicle. I have an amazing church and church family. I have made some amazing friends that have become my family through Celebrate Recovery. This program God led me to and it has opened my eyes to so much about myself, my past and about who i am. God has used this program to show me a passion for reaching out and helping others in a way I never thought possible. God has blessed me in more ways than i can count. And that is what I need to focus on. Satan is a liar and has a way of getting in our heads and pulling us down into negativity. I have to turn to God and allow God to help me through it and show me His path for my life not what satan wants me to think.
Psalm 103:1-5, NLT Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.He fills my life with good things.
John 8:44 …… the devil, …… He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
There are some days where my house is nothing but pure chaos. I wonder how to find the serenity in midst of all the chaos. My boys keep me busy and on my toes. It is non-stop shenanigans with the two of them. With them only being 3 years apart and the youngest of the two is three years old, you best believe that they both tend to do things and get into things the other will gladly follow in suit.
Before bed last night I tell my 6 year old, when you get up in the morning come wake me up immediately. Do not do anything at all before you wake me up..ok you can go pee first….in the toilet not in the floor….but then you come get me.. (yes I have to reiterate to him that the toilet is the appropriate place to go to bathroom not the floor, not his closet and not in his dresser drawers). I have a baby monitor on so I can hear them at night. Now keep in mind I am a soft sleeper and I have insomnia. So for my kids to be able to get up and get into things without me hearing them means my kids have some sort of ninja powers. What I woke up to this morning… had me so speechless as to how I did not hear them up and of course my 6 year old “forgot” to wake me up again.
I walk out of my room to see my 3 year old head to toe covered. It looked like he’s been out playing in a big mud hole. It’s in his hair! His face is covered!! There’s no skin showing at all on his hands or belly. I’m just looking at him trying to decide if I want to laugh, cry or yell. I start questioning my oldest son as to what is on his little brothers…well entire frame. He proceeds to tell me its from cupcakes…. Umm… We don’t have cupcakes…. Dad bought them…..No son we don’t have cupcakes….now my mind is beginning to wonder…what does my son have all over him… all I can think is he may have poo on him… please tell me he didn’t smear poo all over himself..wait my oldest said he was eating it. Oh no!! NO NO NO NO. you did not eat poo. You did not eat it and paint yourself with it. This is where my mind is going.. So I call him to the bathroom so I can get him cleaned up…. I’m so dreading this thinking this is gonna smell. This is gonna make me puke…. He comes to me and I’m preparing myself for this awful smell.. As he nears me I stop and look at him. That’s not poo. That’s really sweet smelling. What have you gotten all over yourself. I find out he found the brownie mix in the cupboard. Shaking my head. My little ninjas. I love them so much but I need to learn to be a better ninja than them.
As I sit here watching my youngest playing on his tablet and eating pizza, I can’t help but notice the small things I tend to not take the time to notice. His eyes wide with anticipation, excitement, and eagerness to learn whatever it is he maybe you tubing at the time. The simple way he touched the top of his ear distracted by what his little mind is taking in. The slight smile on his face as he sees something that he finds amusing.
I can’t help but wonder how many small things I don’t notice as I go through my crazy hectic days of working and volunteering, cleaning or whatever else my chaotic life has me doing. Where would I be if God treated me this way? What if God were too busy to notice the small things in my life; too busy to have every little detail of the life He wants for me laid out way before I was ever thought of. What if God was too busy to see my hurt, my tears, hear my cries my prayers; to see my smile here me laugh ; to watch me love and succeed and fail. Where would I be? How hopeless life would seem if God got to busy for me or any of His children? I’m so thankful my God pays attention to all the details. He loves me so much that He even know the number of hairs on my head.( Matt 10:30 Luke 12:7 ) I’m so thankful and grateful to have so an awesome God and to be His child.
Lately my husband and I have been on a downward spiral. Things just keep piling up against us left and right. He was forced to quit his job, bills piling up, and other things I really don’t to go into full details on. Needless to say we are being attached, I believe, spiritual attach. I can’t say for certain if some of it could have been avoided by our choices and actions or not. Sometimes it’s hard to see out of the little box you trap yourself in. However we got here, we are here.
I was praying really hard one Sunday morning during 2nd service at church (we both volunteer and sometimes that requires us to be at both services). I was just listening to the amazing worship team we have, singing and performing and then the sermon and my mind started to drift off in prayer about the predicament we have gotten ourselves into. I’m just praying for guidance in our job situation and financial situation. I am doing what I have done so many times before in my prayers. I’m just complaining and I’m feeling sorry for myself cause we are having such a hard time and that’s all I can see and all I’ve been able to see for so long.
As I am praying, (complaining about my life) words began to enter my mind. These words brought me to tears and made me feel ashamed of myself. “You aren’t the only one struggling” is what I hear. “Look around you, open your eyes and your heart. See the pain the others are going through. It’s not just you. And you are not alone.” I realized how selfish I have been. I focus on me, me, me, me and my family. That’s all I’ve been praying for and all I’ve been thinking about for weeks. How selfish can a person be. That led to other thoughts, thoughts of how some of my Facebook posts had been perceived and it was never how I had intended them to look. It looked like I was asking for a hand out as I listed the bills I needed to pay or I would loose everything. I really just wanted prayers for guidance and to know what path God was leading us down; to know where He wanted us to go from here. It came off as I need money and I don’t care who gives it to me as long as I get it. It led to a conversation with my pastor and a friend of ours that ended up in an argument I would describe it but it was a spiritual discussion. I ended up taking things said way too literally and to heart, which is something I am so good at doing, especially when I am so stressed. I replied things out of those hurt feelings and I was so wrong for doing so.
As I am sitting there at church the Facebook conversation pops in my mind and I have this feeling come over me as I realize what went so wrong in that conversation and my part in it. I realize I complain too much about things. I take so much for granted. I never stopped and was thankful for things that I do have. I was so focused on the negative I couldn’t see the good, I couldn’t see the blessings. I realized as bad as my husband had it at his job it was money coming in. I complained about how he was treated, which wasn’t good, I complained that he didn’t make enough. I put more pressure and stress on him and he was already doing what he could. I never meant to make him feel that way . I knew he was doing what he could. I wasn’t upset with him, I was upset at the situation and I never thought about how it came across to him that just maybe it made him feel he wasn’t doing enough in my eyes. Which is not the case at all. I know he will do what he can to provide for us and i made him feel like it wasn’t enough, that he wasn’t enough and whether that was my intentions or not that’s what complaining all the time made him feel. His job brought money in, it may not have been enough to cover everything and we were getting so far behind that is what I focused on. I took the income he was bringing in for granted. It wasn’t much but it was better than what is going on now.
It’s funny how we have to hit the bottom sometimes to wake us up to reality, to make us see that things could always be worse. God showed me the person I was and it’s not a person I want to be or am proud of. I am trying to find positives right now in all things. I still haven’t found a job, but I know that if it’s God’s plan it will happen. I have started praying more for those who are struggling whether it’s financially, spiritually, medically, or mentally. Whatever they struggle with God knows and I pray now, “God, you know their needs better than they do or I do. Please, help them the way You see fit. Be with them. Comfort them. Wrap your arms around them and let them know they are not alone. You are with them. Please let them see your love and let them feel your grace. That they find peace in knowing You have them just as You have me. It’s Your plan not ours.”
I can’t promise I will never think so selfishly or take things for granted again. What I can do is promise to strive to do better in these areas and to constantly try to grow my relationship with Jesus and to be the best me I can be and to listen more to what God is trying to tell me and where He’s trying to lead me.
I want to say I’m sorry for being selfish and for taking so many things for granted. I also want to say thank you for all the prayers for us. And I want to thank my pastor for trying to teach us a biblical lesson in a hard situation and for the continuing thoughts and prayers. I am sorry I took it so personally and got as upset as I did. I am human and I make a lot of mistakes and I have a lot of hurts and hangups. I am a work in progress. I am the clay and God is my potter and I am trying to let Him mold me to what He knows I need to be not to what I think I should be. I am His and He is still working on me. It’s just a slow progress cause I get in His way a lot.