The Wilderness

B112A881-D709-462B-8110-422DF57971B5Many years ago I went through one of the toughest battles ever, feeling lost in the darkness of my thoughts and feelings with nobody to turn to.  It’s interesting, twice this past week, this time of my life came up in conversations.  I discussed with my counselor but also listening and encouraging a friend the other night, who is experiencing total hopelessness in her life, wanting to die.  Sadly, I knew exactly what she felt and heard the screams of her begging God to let her die.

Taking day by day but really just existing, it got so bad I remember feeling actually numb and not knowing how I got from home to work, vice versa, and dealt with life.  I remember driving to work, knowing deep within that 7C031C4F-1822-45B7-AFEE-4A4AF7B3E0E0God was carrying me. He had to carry me. The Footprints in the Sand picture and the words that I have read many times, became real. One of those moments when you think or say, so that is what this feels like.  Yes.  He was carrying me and at times dragging or pushing me. Had it not been and had I not had my faith in Him, I do not know what I would have done.

Many in the church were present around me as I tried to go and worship but still, even in the midst, I felt invisible.  I worked closely with the Pastor with typing and tending to his paperwork and correspondence, but even he did not discern, acknowledge or offer to see through my heavy heart or hear my silent screams.  Alone in the dark for years not understanding or able to confide in others. I had been hurt so much by those that said they loved me and cared so how could I trust another.

Perhaps the walls surrounding me were so high, that I had built and rightfully so and normal, that they could not see or reach out to me. Still, if you cared enough, chip away at the wall to help me tear the walls down, as I needed freedom from the hell within. Desperate and hopeless, just as my friend.

Years progressed to more years and I felt I finally gave up.  One last straw broke me. Isolation and depression attacked my very being. My life was between going to and from work and home to repeat the next day. Being an empty nester, I did not have to act as though I was fine because I was not.  My husband was present in body only but nothing more, just keeping the legal form of our marriage license intact only.814A9057-3FDA-4418-9080-178EC9794093

Even though the dark days of this wilderness journey was horrendous for me, today I am much stronger in my faith.  It was through those times and many nights curled up in my chair struggling to live through the emotional pain and mental torment, but I had to trust in the Lord. He said in His Word that He has a purpose and a plan for me, He would not leave or forsake me.  I had to trust Him. Even when I was so angry with myself, others, my life and even God and then to express such anger to Him. My faith deepened even through my screams of anger at Him. He knew I was angry anyway, I had to be real with Him.

Wildernesses are not wasted by God.

As bad as it was, I know the trials that come now won’t last forever and hopefully not as long as the wilderness experience I had.  Tomorrow will be better.  No matter what comes, I must trust Him. You, too.

Know He loves you. He knows your name.  He knows where you are.  He knows all about you.  Trust Him! ✝️

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God does not waste any of our life experiences and promises that although, life might not feel good right now, he works all things for our benefit and for the purpose of transforming us into the image of his son, Jesus Christ (Rom 8:28-29). https://asistasjourney.com/2012/06/29/a-wilderness-experience-depression/

Wilderness Experience https://www.gotquestions.org/wilderness-experience.html

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SHAME

 

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Shame – Wikipedia
Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self, withdrawal motivations, and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness

I cannot make that word large or ugly enough to express of how much it has affected my life.

To keep shame hidden and unaware, is a weight I have carried and many carry daily and throughout their lifetime.  The thoughts that come that we are not good enough for this or that, the negative that has infiltrated our minds from childhood and through life is somewhat disabling.

It was not until a few years ago that I understood shame and it’s effects upon my life.  Still, this morning as I am looking and researching many websites about shame did I realize that I was triggered just a few weeks ago of something that put me in a downward spiral of anger, unworthiness and sadness.  While I managed and coped, I realized today that was shame again heaped upon me.  Not understanding the situation and why somebody that was dear to me would ignore me basically.  I took that as I am unworthy, they have lied to me all this time and I am a nobody.  While I identified I was angry, it was not until writing this blog did I recognize shame.  Disappointment and all the emotions became alive with this situation, I became stuck.  It’s shame, yet again.  Shame, it’s time to go! Thankfully, through this period, I had my counselors to allow me to talk and work through it all.  Just to recognize shame, it cannot stay.

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Shame wants us to hide and be all negative about ourselves that we will not fully succeed in life.  It’s a great ploy of the enemy because he knows that if we had the confidence and compassion toward ourselves, as we do others, we can make an impact.  As a Christian, the enemy does not want that at all.  Keep him or her quiet and all is well.  Becoming aware of shame and how it has tormented me, I will speak out and go forward.  It may knock me for a loop, as it did recently, but I will bounce back.F6035147-A86B-4B42-99AC-84F8E79DC483

To understand and to put a word with the feelings is enlightening.  Why I never knew of shame really before in life is unbeknownst to me.  Perhaps it wasn’t the time.

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Shame is feeling sorry about who you are as a person.     And toxic shame is feeling bad about who you are as a person all the time – it is pervasive.  What is Toxic Shame?  (The Little-Known Mental Illness) LonerWolf  https://lonerwolf.com/toxic-shame/

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First, identify what shame feels like in your body. How do you embody shame? For many people, shame feels and looks closed down. We tend to embody “closed down” by hunching our shoulders or looking down, anything we can do to hide. We might clench our jaw, hold our hands as fists, or harden our gaze. The longer we hold these closed down expressions or “poses,” the longer we embody, feel, and think shame.   How to Overcome the Weight of Shame  by https://www.recoverywarriors.com/the-weight-of-shame/

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👉🏻 Be aware! 

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For more information about shame, Brene Brown is awesome!  https://brenebrown.com/

Trust or Distrust?

6594C139-3701-4A6C-938F-FDE4ACD405B1There is a part of me that would rather you look me in the eye and say, I do not like/love you, I hate you, I do not want anything to do with you, etc., than to find out later it was all a lie, questioning our relationship.  While that would be horrific, at least I would know what I was dealing with.

To receive my trust, to know me, to hear me and to know I was loyal and then to crush my spirit, is like a knife in my back.  Sadly, that knife has been there many times.  I D4388487-BF85-4636-BCD1-D911E2A3AD9Fam kind of getting used to the sharpness and the dull pain it presents.  It just reopens and irritates the wound from before that I was getting over. How many times do I have to endure the agony?  It’s hard when it repeats itself, especially from those you would not expect.

As I was in counseling for years and still, trying to grasp the fact of this hurt, the betrayal, abandonment, rejection, distrust, lack of vulnerability, to name a few and realizing they were what I have dealt with in life.  Now, understanding the areas that get triggered and while pain exists through it, I know it is not the end of the world.   Thankfully, I can recognize and name the emotions felt.  Like, yes I have been here before and this hurts. It helps when you know what you are dealing with whether that be in the emotions, as such, or even the one causing the pain.  We may not understand what the other person is going through or the reason this or that happened but give grace and forgiveness, move on.

You would think that the ones that cared and loved you would not do such damage, but it happens. Shocking.

The question lingers… Who do you trust?E0C8227E-7587-4D3D-8938-E58FFA2A990C

It is hard to be vulnerable knowing that just this can happen.  You think you are in a safe place in a relationship but again, it happens.

3A9D2D89-A24C-47E1-A851-A5690FEADEEEThe walls get built to protect from letting others hurt you once again. Perhaps not allowing myself to be me, was something we discussed often in counseling, afraid to be vulnerable.  I understand.  How can the walls not be built to keep the pain away?  There is a distrust. It takes time and healing of such pain to dissipate, hopefully.  When you think you can trust again and it happens yet again, the walls go back.  The wall gets bigger.

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One thing I do know, is that the enemy wants nothing more to make us and help us believe the lies in order to stop our growth. The thoughts bombard our mind to just to stop it ALL.  I felt this so strongly the last few weeks. I do not know who to trust or to be vulnerable with and share; so the 52A72642-7651-4544-81AA-CDB596F1F7F5thoughts and decision of no more counseling, no more caring, no more nothing. Done! Just go to work, home and repeat. Exist. Exactly where the enemy wants me yet again, to be isolated and depressed.

I know better though because I went down that road before for years.  I recognize the enemy at work in my mind and my emotions.  I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and getting close to freedom in life and to feel joy.  I want that in my life.

The knife in my back yet again is just that.  What’s new?  I made it before, I’ll make it again. At least I know how to walk through this with more coping skills than I had years ago and I see it as it is.  The pain exists, tears come and go from the disappointment. Before, I would take it all upon myself, as there is something wrong with me or it is my fault, etc., but I am not taking the blunt of the negative feedback trickling in my thoughts.

Sadly, many get to this point as such or similar and consider the situation hopeless, too tired to work through the despair.  Suicide is rampant among us all. Keep going, you will get through this. Today might be rough but tomorrow will be better.

457B8EEC-3EEC-45DF-A2F5-FEA0AF846327As much as my heart hurts, I know that the Lord knows all about my pain.  I have to trust Him through this.  I did not have the energy before, years ago and for years, but now I do.  I will Praise Him through this pain and He will see me through.

Any negative thoughts, feelings and emotions that I have, not to forget the anger that rises up in my attitude, I know I must forgive the one(s) that hurt me.  I know, too, that I am to pray for them.2E833860-5258-4FC4-82A3-BA0B43CD1BB8

If you also are experiencing some pain or issues in life, trust Him. He knows your name and exactly where you are, too.  Life will throw us some punches and knifes in the back but we need to keep moving forward. You’ve got this!

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The Bible gives advice about trusting others after we’ve been hurt. Trusting God is the first, most important step. When we know that, no matter what men do to us, God will always be there, faithful and true and trustworthy, it is easier to handle betrayal or disappointments. Psalm 118:6 says, “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me?” 

The second step after being hurt by trusting others is forgiveness. As Jesus told Peter, if a brother sins against you seventy-seven times a day and comes back asking for forgiveness, we should forgive (Matthew 18:21–22). 

https://www.gotquestions.org/trusting-others.html

What’s Wrong With Me?

What’s wrong with me?  Ever ask that of yourself? DDBF941F-2326-4A39-9ABB-26BABFCD97A9

Today, I did. It’s been a long time, I realized, since I have asked that and I did not miss it.

I thought I would try to listen to my former counselor’s video today while working on a project at work. One of the best counselors out there, and I am thankful to have had her in my life. Even after today, an emotional ride.

Even though I made it through the video, once it was over my throat was tight of anxiety, I felt sad and immediately went to the question that I have been able to ward off, which is ‘What is wrong with me?’ Sadness hit me hard with that and all the negative thoughts of unworthiness, unlovable, etc.

If I wasn’t in my office and having the auditor in the next room, I do believe I could have cried a river. Tears still leaked out my eyes but a big gush was in there, I was about to burst, an emotional breakdown.  FD32BC50-03E5-40E1-913F-C05612E20B09

So many sessions over the four years together, and we have discussed this matter so often, but I apparently still get triggered.  Understanding my childhood of emotional neglect, shame, abandonment, etc., of which my blogs express at times, I will always be triggered.  It’s how I handle it.

Perhaps just the fact of hearing her voice, as we are no longer counselor/client due to her health issues, my own grieving with this loss but I also felt hurt by her. I just don’t understand the whys that linger in my mind and my heart. I will probably never know the answers to the whys. How can this be? Why?

0E29E2B2-DAE3-4CD4-9773-C65DD7979CBBMy heart hurts. Dealing with questioning myself once again, the shame tore at me. Something must be wrong with me for her to basically invalidate me and minimize my feelings and feel the rejection deeply. The one that taught me different and encouraged me all those years and knows better. I feel totally confused. 29BFD495-44A4-4007-8AB9-C6A078436980

My whole being shut down holding my breath in the emotional turmoil, as I do and have done in life. Experiencing this once again, is almost debilitating. I’ve done so well. Today, not so much.  Perhaps this is a lesson that I need to remember where I have come from and how I have grown through the years.  I do remember it well, and I don’t like it.

Changing my mindset will come, maybe not today though and tomorrow is questionable.  The rewiring of my brain, also taught by her, by reversing the thought pattern of knowing there is nothing wrong with me.  I am pushing through.  I have come a long way.  I am blessed. I am lovable. I am worthy.  A whole lot of ‘I Am’ statements will be said and will be in front of me to read. Most importantly, the Lord knows my heart, He knows my name and He knows exactly where I am.  My focus is and has to be on Him.

It will all come together and the positive side will surface once again within me, but as I feel the pain and acknowledge the hurt, I have to hope that healing will come.

What’s wrong with me? I just have a big heart and I care. There is nothing wrong with that.

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So if you have ever been in this place of hurt, let down, disappointed, even angered of a situation or relationship, you understand me.  It’s all normal. Most importantly is that the Lord loves me, sees me and I have to trust Him.  Same goes for you.  Trust Him.

039EC9C5-0D5F-4C09-AD99-901584023340Shame informs you of an internal state of inadequacy, dishonor, or regret. As a self-conscious emotion, shame informs us of an internal state of inadequacy, unworthiness, dishonor, regret, or disconnection. Shame is a clear signal that our positive feelings have been interrupted.

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Afraid of Me

Last night, as I sat down in our first class, which will be held one night a week for eight weeks, I was feeling apprehensive. I was feeling out of place, not for the purpose of the class but me wanting to withdraw.  I like to keep my commitments but honestly I did not want to be there, at all.  This was not a required class, but a FB548ADA-6740-4EA9-A983-2BDE3A357396volunteered one to sign up and go to and for all things, weight loss.  No doubt, every lady in this classroom was feeling the same.  Thinking and feeling, just another attempt of a losing battle, my weight.

Since I was not one-hundred percent of my desire to continue past this first night, I did not buy the booklet, which was recommended.  Knowing how I am, I buy such things and that is it, they do not get used and finally thrown out.  I was being persistent in my thoughts of I am not buying this book. Just that rebellious attitude, and not flipping through the booklet like others, I was an odd (wo)man out.

The lady who was leading this group is a very good speaker and she herself has lost the weight and kept it off, keeping the focus on the Lord and depending upon Him. This all makes sense and sounds easy enough but… when we fail and have those sweet treats and the calories build due to whatever we are dealing with or just boredom, then Satan beats us up with shame, failure and our loser mentality.  Plus the fact, we failed God yet again, we did not keep Him first in our eating habits.  Hopelessness comes.  I hate when all that happens.5B172DDB-654E-4AAD-8B7D-C801700FD604

It was when she spoke about the next part, of how the Lord is with us and wants us to be with Him.  To trust Him to pull back the layers of our emotions, which is why we normally eat.  The emotional eating is big with me, as with many.  Let me eat those cookies to ease the sadness.   Maybe the cake and ice cream because I am upset and angry over a situation. Well, you know also that we need to celebrate our co-worker’s third marriage or whatever celebration it is for the day.  No doubt, you know how it goes, especially if you also struggle with weight issues.  The sadness, frustration, anger, etc., can overtake us to where we think it will all be better to eat.  The Lord wants us to come to Him with our emotions, anything and everything, as He is always present.  Acknowledge Him.

Since I have been in counseling the past five years and have dug my heels in and have come a long way, I know the emotional turmoil myself.  Perhaps this is my next level to concentrate further.  Not that I have not included the Lord, because I have, I have had to.

9AF9ED2D-454F-495E-A869-EAE1C914DA5CWhile that spoke to me on a deeper level, of peeling back the layers, it was when she  said that Satan was afraid of you (me).  That hit me big time.  He has big plans for someone in this room and Satan does not want you to feel confident and grow in the Lord.  I took that all personal and that is a good thing.  I do have an excitement within and joy of what the Lord is doing in and with me but times come that this is crazy thinking.  I think not.  Like I mentioned, I have worked hard and pushed through a lot and some hell and I believe there is a new me about to happen and while Satan is afraid of me, I think I am afraid of me, too, in a good way. C07B393A-D629-4517-A2DC-0E726610DD35

I, of course, bought the book. What God has started, He will finish.  I know there is a plan and a purpose for me.

What emotions are in your life that need the layers pulled back?  Are you struggling with your weight, an addiction, etc.  We tend to stuff our emotions down and not acknowledge, keep busy to ignore but what He wants is for you, me, all of us to come to Him and allow Him to be in the midst so we can heal from the pain.

Always know, He also has a plan and a purpose for you.  Trust Him.

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My Heart

D586DFE6-BAED-434F-A9E4-9DB002A7E5F2There are times in life that you may not know what to do or to think of a situation, relationship, etc., at hand before you.  The questions within seem to linger with no answers.  All that you can do is take one day at a time, pay attention and feel the emotions but only on limited time.  Don’t let it steal from your day, if that is even possible.  It is.  Acknowledge, feel and move on.  Repeat, as needed. C3B6FEE8-AEB1-4B43-93AB-54DC4AFAD470

We may not understand exactly what we are facing or have dealt with as there are a lot of emotions that are wrapped in the midst, which is normal.  It is taking it all to God that will help you get through.

Scripture tells us, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight” (Hebrews 4:13, NIV). There isn’t a day or a tear that God doesn’t know about. He sees whatever we’re going though … and He knows.

Expressing what we feel to Him, that can be from joy and our praises but also sadness to anger. Yes, even anger toward Him.  One of my biggest faith moments in life, many years ago, was when I screamed out that I was angry with Him.  Seriously, He knows anyway. I felt bad for doing that at the time, but I do not regret, as I felt like my level of faith increased.

1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (NLT)

It is not always easy but as you know, time takes care of a lot of issues. As we recognize and come to terms with it all, of what we are dealing with, understand ourselves plus see the Hand of God at work in the midst, joy will return. He knows. He cares.

ED6D9A82-9B8F-4881-881A-632ADAA038A8Our heart may feel the pain and our emotions cause havoc but if we put our trust in Him to help us through, He will do just that.  Trust Him.

https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2016/09/26/in-case-you-were-wondering-god-knows

 

 

Good ‘n Angry

DC098BAD-8FF5-4058-A4EC-602DCCBAF676I admit, I am angry over an situation but more confused, but I know anger is there.  What I do know, is that it is not worth me blasting forth with words that will cause damage.  I do have a heart and I do care.  Once words are released, they cannot be taken back.

A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up.
Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit. Proverbs 15.1,4

Is it wrong to be angry or to feel anger?  No!  It’s normal.

Although the condemnation felt makes you feel bad.  Again, normal. I have been taught it was wrong all my life to have such stern feelings to where I am a bad person, unworthy and so on to have such emotion.  Anger is a normal, natural emotion in each of us  30C76BE4-3B74-4C34-B4E4-2079989559E5

If I said I was not feeling anger, that would be a problem.  I would be in denial.

97AE67D7-CEEF-47F3-A929-1D92DB27D7F2As I even write, I could put words of anger that could hurt another but I do not want to do that.  Where will that get me?  Nowhere but regret doing so.  My heart hurts but I know One that knows me better than anybody.  I feel the emotions, acknowledge and pray that the Lord will help me through it all.  He will.

https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-8the-truth-about-anger

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