All the hurt

These past few months have been very painful for me.

Back in February I was really hurt by a good friend of mine in ministry. He chose to use me for his own gratification/desires and disregarded my feelings. I was like a toy or an opportunity for him.

Anyways, I don’t really want to talk about what happened as much as I want to talk about how it affected me. I was in complete despair. I felt betrayed, unworthy, unlovable, objectified, etc., etc. Then, I became frustrated at myself for feeling so upset about it. I tried to pretend I was okay and was proud of myself when I had good days and harsh on myself when I didn’t. I was also changing anxiety medicines at the time and went through a serious bout of depression as a side effect of the withdrawal, and the situation I was in wasn’t exactly alleviating.

I’m going to be really honest here, I was not okay and I am still not okay. I believed so many lies that Satan was whispering to me. This guy really stirred up some serious fears I had in my own heart and the enemy¬†loves when these are surfaced. I was so afraid that no one would ever want to be with me, date me, marry me, and so on. However, I tried to suppress this fear and pretend it didn’t exist. I shoved it in a box in my heart and tried my hardest to forget it was there, that is, until the enemy opened it back up:

Sara, that guy doesn’t care about you. You’re an object. You’re undesirable. You’re unworthy of anyone’s love.¬†

And I believed every word of it. I cried and cried and cried and then would subsequently cry more because I was so angry at myself for feeling this upset. Didn’t I find my identity in Jesus? Did I not believe God’s love for me was good enough? Oh man, these questions haunted me even further.

Luckily I have had great friends and ministers to surround me in this hurt and bring me a lot of clarity. Most importantly, I’m learning to just say when I’m not okay and admit when things hurt and give myself grace for my own feelings and emotions.

I also read something in my quiet times that really struck me.

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11

There’s good news for me in all of this darkness. I don’t have to fight with my insecurities anymore. I don’t have to fight with my anger and self-loathing. God does that for me, all I have to do is bring it to him. The Lord has already defeated Satan once and for all. The enemy cannot hurt me because I am in Christ Jesus. “Call upon God and leave the Devil no choice” was the concluding line of my little devotional believe me I bookmarked it. God weeps with me, fights for me, loves me, and draws me near. The enemy can’t do a thing about it. He will not win, he does not speak truth, he does not have a say about who I am.

I am still hurting, believe me, but God can handle the hurt.

He handled death.

Advertisements

coffee

my morning cup

reminds me of you

bitter

blackened soul

swirling around

burning my throat

likely to leave me anxious

with holes in my stomach

hurt

i’m hurting tonight

my heart aching in rhythm

with my shallow breaths

to whoever is keeping score,

add another tally below the column that says

“the ones who’ve thrown me away”

once again

i return to my pile

of old cards and dying plants

because people throw them away too

after they’re done using them

or have decided they hold no value

yes, my friends

they understand what its like

to hurt in the bottom of a trash can

scars

my mind swirling

crumbling

i turn to those around me

and they squint their eyes as they turn away

from my outstretched hands

its the affirmation the devil needed

to convince me

that i’m nothing

worthless

an inconvenience

so I believe him for a moment

and collapse in my own fear

the scars on my wrists

and my heart

painfully remind me

that i’ve been here before

yet the Lord pushes through my walls

and leaves the flock

to search desperately

for one of his little lost sheep

He finds me

and so He saved me

from my own mind

and what it does to me

when the devil is left unattended

waiting

i hate this part

it gives me that sinking feeling in the pit

of my stomach and my heart

but what i keep forgetting

is that the King has always been patient

waiting for me each time i run

like clockwork

i eventually grow weary

and come to repent

make an about-face

turn around

and there He is

waiting

with arms wide open

 

 

Identity

Anyone suffered from anxiety? Depression? Addiction? Self-harm? etc., etc.

The worst part of all of this is that it manifests into a lie in your brain that insists that you are only as good as the crap you go through. A few weeks ago, I hit a big bump. I’ve always struggled with anxiety and some depression, but when really unfortunate stuff happens, my anxiety turns into this giant hurricane that wreaks havoc on me and my mind. Stings of rejection and betrayal were small cuts being rubbed with the lemon juice that is my anxiety. It always makes things worse than they need to be. I become devastated and then frustrated with myself for being so devastated, which turns into a vicious cycle of self-loathing and despair. I always know in the back of my head that my identity is in Christ Jesus and that my anxiety is no longer the realest thing about me. But even drilling truth into my head couldn’t save me from sleepless nights where my mind wandered into the darkest corners it could find. Thats where the self-blaming, the self-hating, and the self-disgust would hold me captive.

I really was at a point where I didn’t know what to do. I kept praying for wisdom and truth from God to seep in and rescue my heart, but I wasn’t finding relief. That is, until I watched a movie last night. The character in the film was an olympic-hopeful runner who was training to qualify for Team USA. She met a boy a few days before her big race, and became distracted. She stayed up late with him, putting her training plan in jeopardy. He also consistently tried to change who she was, pressuring her to sleep with him (which is a whole different can of worms that I won’t get into here). She eventually did, sneaking out the night before her big race. Afterwards, however, she realized that it wasn’t who she really was or where she needed to be. She had been quoting random celebrities the whole film, but now she came up with her own “If you find yourself in a story you don’t belong in… (big dramatic pause) leave” And with that, she left. It was as simple as that. She turned from whatever she was getting caught up in, because she knew it wasn’t her story.

This wasn’t a christian film by any means but the Gospel somehow shows up in nearly everything we do, including art and film and music. It’s funny how God works like that. Her character risked her biggest dreams for a boy who was trying to put her in a foreign and dangerous narrative. Even though the damage was done, she realized it wasn’t too late and simply left. Turned around. Repented perhaps.

Anyways, I too, realized that self-loathing was trying to write me into a harmful story, not the narrative God had written me in. Anxiety is not definitive of my character. Instead, my place in God’s narrative is a loved daughter, one worth everything to Him, even His own Son. I found myself last week in a story I didn’t belong in, so I opened my Bible and read what God had to say about who I was to him.

What I’m not: worthless, unimportant, unvalued, a commodity, a toy

What I am: worthy, lovely, valuable, irreplaceable, unique, and most importantly I am loved infinitely by the King of everything.

Whose story is it anyway

Not sure how I ended up here.

It’s already chapter 2

and I can feel the tension

between my character and yours.

No I don’t think I’m supposed to be here.

I’m more of a diamond in the rough

slowly being shaped by my Creator.

You remind me more of a child

who pulls that silly putty

waiting for it to snap.

And that’s okay, because I’ve been there too.

But the aftermath is ugly if I may point out,

the putty takes a lot of kneading to piece back together.

Seems odd for me to say as I leave this plot behind,

but no one said this had to be your story either.