My thoughts have really been quite the mess lately. In fact, my whole life is kind of a mess. I can't tell if I'm more sick physically or emotionally. I don't know if I'm really happy or really sad. Am I an optimist or a pessimist? So many things are going on in my life and God has been showing me so much and I've been trying to connect all the dots to see how it all makes sense but its not been working out so well. He has been speaking a lot; I've just been a really bad listener.
So right now I've got a lot on my plate. Last week I was officially diagnosed with lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease where basically my immune system goes psycho and attacks my body. It had really been attacking my joints but there is also a slight concern over the effect it might be having on my kidneys. So please be praying for me for my health. Although I haven't had a really bad flare up since I was hospitalized! I'm on a few medications and I'm a little worried about their side effects but I've been alright thus far.
Now, emotionally I've been very drained. I mean, I'm still happy...in a sad sort of way. It's quite complicated really. To start off, my best friend/ministry partner/other half is going away on a missions trip to Brazil for 6 months. She leaves in 10 days. And I am not ready at all. She runs Rise Above It Missions with me so with her being gone it raises so many problems for us; not to mention I'm just going to miss having my best friend around. Its all kind of been like a dream, her leaving. But today we had a going away party for her and it really hit me. I was really going to be without her for 6 freaking months. I know its going to be incredibly hard for me while she's away and I can feel the storm coming and I know the fear triggers will be relentless and I've been praying for spiritual ammunition to use in this battle. I'm afraid to have to fight alone, even though I know I won't be totally alone. I don't know what's going to happen with our ministry; we've been praying so hard and I know that God will bring us through this; because when He called us to take up this task, He knew about this time. But this is a war and wars are hard to fight.
I've been praying for a few things but my main prayer has been for God to start teaching me things I'll need while Diana is away. You know, get some weapons ready for when the battle comes. There have been a lot of topics and a few of them have scared me. Because if I'm learning about it now, I'm going to have to fight it later. And if that's true, I've got a lot coming my way. I've learned about suffering, brokenness, and temptation. And for now, I want to focus on brokenness; because I learned something so valuable about that. It started over a month ago and has continued ever since then. I've been having a rough time emotionally these past few months. I was especially hurt by someone I care very much about and it broke me a little. I didn't realize it right away, but God showed me that I had really let that hurt get to me. Not just that hurt, but hurt from the past and the fear of the future started to define me. I threw myself a giant pity party. I was miserable. I didn't always act it, but I felt it. I stopped writing letters as often and complimenting people; I stopped looking for people to help or encourage, and I lost myself. I was so broken. I let myself become a shell. I was empty and broken and shattered.
That was when someone visited our youth group. She was a representative from an organization called Youth With A Mission and she came, along with two others, to speak a bit for us. She said that she would be around after group to pray with anyone who needed it. I told myself I wanted to be prayed for and would go up to her afterwards. But as soon as group ended, she approached me. I was so surprised. I didn't know what I needed prayer for, but she did. Because she prayed exactly what I needed. She said God had shown her a vision of me. I was a strong, pure white, pillar. I carried a heavy burden, but I was so strong and beautiful. She said she knew there were times in my life where I had felt like a broken reed, tossed around by the wind, but God wanted to take my broken pieces and make me strong; like He renamed Peter from "broken reed" to "solid rock." That was when I realized that I had been going most of my life thinking I was broken. It was a crazy realization. I had always seen myself and a mess of a person; broken, frail, and weak. I was darkness. I was psycho. I was unknown. No one else saw this side of me, but I felt it constantly. I thought it was almost humbling. Because it was what I was.
There's a scene from Silver Linings Playbook that God really used to speak to me.during this time. In the movie, Pat called Tiffany a (pardon my language.) slut. And she ran over to him and spoke my favorite line. "I was a big slut, but I'm not anymore!" That single line hit me so hard. I had never had that mentality before. Yet this was what God wanted for me. I have no problem with thinking horribly of myself. I do it all the time. That was the part of the whole "getting saved" thing I had down to a science. I knew I needed a Savior because there is no way in heck I could ever do anything good. But I had been missing the main point: being born again. I was a mess of a person; but I'm not anymore. I had taken my identity as who I used to be and I stuck with it. But God wants so much more for me. He wants to remake me. He wants to take all the hurt and the brokenness and turn it into something beautiful. There is no such thing as broken beyond repair. That was when He started me on a treatment plan for emotional healing. I realized that all those things that used to have power over me were now defeated. I belong to Christ. Fear used to own me. But it doesn't anymore. I have been set free by Him so I don't need to wear those shackles anymore. I don't know why I was so set on keeping them.
I've learned about suffering and brokenness, but I've also learned about healing and hope. I want to share more about hope next post I think; because God has really been repeating that word a lot. I want you guys to learn from this too. If you've been hurt, there is healing. You may see yourself as fragile and alone but I promise you, God sees you as so much more. You are strong and brave and sometimes you just need someone to remind you of that.
"So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of this world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive adoption as sons."-Galatians 4:3-5
You are a child of God. You have been redeemed. Those things that once controlled you are gone. Walk in that life. When you let sin and things of the world be a master over you, that is something you choose. Because Christ has set you free. He came that we may have life and have it in abundance. Yes, I was hurt. But I was not defeated. I can get back up and move on and be stronger because of it. "We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken." (Looking For Alaska.) God can heal anyone of anything. I am a firm believer in this. So whatever is holding you back from living in His fullness, pray it over and give it to God. My dear, you are not broken. A little chipped, maybe. But not broken. Let God heal you.