Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
~Psalm 126:5 NLT
"In the deepest recesses of my heart, those places I had tried to hide even from him, I sensed God had been waiting a long time for me to begin asking the hard questions. (Hope Prevails Insights from a Doctor's Personal Journey through Depression by Dr. Michelle Bengtson)
When I read this last night it reminded me of all the times I felt God tugging at my heart to talk to Him. To let Him in to those "dark" places. But fear of being open, honest, and raw with my feelings, (even though He already knows but speaking them out loud makes them real for me), made me hold on tighter and push them even further into those places hidden behind the walls. The walls have gotten higher and thicker with every passing year that I hold these things inside. It has not only distracted me from a closer relationship with God but also with myself and others.
As a teenager I begin having issues with my weight. At the time I didn't know it had more to do with a health issue that was never diagnosed correctly and less to do with what I was doing. However, I begin to believe that I was being punished for something, some sin I couldn't see, some sin that I had forgotten about. I thought maybe I was being punished for things that other people had done to me and how I never spoke up. I internalized everything. I made myself guilty and in eventually the guilt turned into excuses for believing that I wasn't good enough, that I was worthless, ugly, stupid, and should just give up. I know there are so many of us that feel those things at one point or another, but instead of just feeling it and letting it go, I lived it. I let jumped in, believed it, and made it who I was.
At a very young age I was anxious around people, maybe it was shyness. I have always been afraid of public speaking and even skipped that class in colleges. I dropped out of classes, dropped out of college completely (more than once) all because I was anxious and that turned into panic. It got so bad I couldn't get out my car when I got to the building the class was in. Someday's I couldn't even leave the house. Over the years I have gone through this cycle over and over again. For awhile it seems everything is going great. I am able to leave my house with no anxious feelings. I can go to the store alone. I worked for 8 years straight (with a small hiccup of short term medical leave due to stress). Then I spiral down again. This last spiral has been the worst. It stole so many things from me and at first my only focus was on the things I lost instead of focusing on God and His promises.
In the last year I have been a part of three studies that have helped to open my eyes to what I was missing while "living in the land of negativity." I was tired of feeling lost, worthless, and unhealthy. These studies came at the perfect time. I was finally ready to say, "yes to change."
A few months ago I begin that real, raw, honest talk with God through journaling and prayer. It was one of the hardest things to do. I can tell you now that it was the best thing I have done in a very long time. It helped me to see myself differently. It helped to see everything I have been through, by choice of my own or by someone else's actions, in a different light. I was able to see the lessons I was learning and the blessings I was being given. Even in this, the worst downward spiral into depression and anxiety, has blessed me. The daily struggles with health issues have made me stronger and have forced me to look at the choices I am making and how those choices are either helping me grow or hurting me.
In future blog posts I will share more about the changes I have made and will be making. But for now, I just want you to know that being open, honest, real, and raw with yourself and God is the first step to healing your body, mind, and soul. It is putting your best foot forward!
Coming soon: Making Healthy Choices