I feel like every time I sit down to post something on here I’m confessing something.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 right?
I strongly believe that hearing and reading about other people’s struggles is encouraging. Yes, I said encouraging. Really though, how often do we get discouraged because we feel like “OMG I have to be the only person who is STILL struggling with this stuff!” And then you see or hear about other people who are having issues too and then you’re like “Whoa. Ok. I’m not actually a huge failure, I’m just HUMAN like everyone else around me,” and that folks, is encouraging. PLUS! You can not only pray for and encourage others around you who are struggling but you can see how they are overcoming certain things and it may be in ways you hadn’t thought about before. Again, ENCOURAGING!
Now, onto what I really want to talk about.
Background: I have found myself on quite the unexpected journey back to God this past year and a half. Now, that sounds absolutely cliche’ BUT it’s really true and I could take this in so many different directions but I’ll save you the brain meltdown and try to focus. My church history is a complicated one so I’ll leave it at this: I had zero desire to be apart of the church culture I grew up in so I removed myself from the church completely. I believed the lie that if I had bad experiences with “religious” people that meant that ALL “religious” people were bad too. Now, if you know a thing or two about removing yourself from Godly influences you know that my experience did not go well. To be terrifically vague I let myself go down a very discouraging and negative road that led to nothing but anger, self-loathing, depression, isolation, and hardheartedness. Of all the things I’ve prayed for release and healing from there are things that I’ve struggled with more than others. Today I’m going to talk about control (of my thoughts, my tongue, my emotions).
My root issue: lack of control. I am AWFUL at making myself control myself.
This is where my confession comes out.
I lost it yesterday. Completely and totally lost it. The devil knows exactly which corners of my mind to tug at and he tugged at all of em. All of my insecurities, all of my past hurts, all of my doubts.
And one by one, each little bad thought EXPLODED in my brain and triggered eight other little bad thoughts, and then twenty other bad thoughts (all negative and blatant LIES by the way) and then, the emotions came. Why? Because I LET my brain DWELL on the bad thoughts. I let one hang out in my head…which just left the door open for him to invite as many of his little, nasty, negative friends inside to party.
TIMEOUT: Now, I am a very passionate person. When I love something I LOOOOOVE something, when I loathe something I LOOOOOATHE it. And up until this past year I’ve just let my emotions have free reign, claiming and EMBRACING even that I was just ‘passionate and alive’ when really I was just reckless and immature.
I have been praying and praying and trying and trying to control these seemingly uncontrollable emotions that I find myself wrapped up in at times.
“Stop feeding your feelings, then they will stop controlling you” -Joyce Meyer
Wow. Could it be put any simpler? Sadly for me, yesterday it was way too easy for me to just feed those starving feelings and let them control me.
Honestly though, I felt like I had been making progress in this area until yesterday. I’d been empowered in a way that I know only God can empower you when you ask him for his help. I really feel that the Devil knew all of that and attacked me RELENTLESSLY because of it. And because I didn’t stop it, he won.
My tongue. It can say the most awful of things. Things that seriously make me the most ashamed and things I can’t believe even came out of me. I said a lot of them yesterday. And it never fails that I hurt people I really care about when I lose my head like I did, and that’s a terrible feeling in itself.
“Don’t mix bad words with your bad mood. You’ll have many opportunities to change your mood, but you’ll never get the opportunity to replace the words you spoke.”
I was so discouraged when I woke up this morning. I was so upset with myself and I felt physically and spiritually sick. I felt like I’d just fell backwards ten thousand steps, like everything I’ve been working on for a year was just GONE, obliterated in a matter of a day. Like God was the most disappointed with me. I felt ashamed to even ask him to forgive me, that’s how terrible I was.
And then…I did something that I didn’t do so well (IF AT ALL) yesterday.
I said no. I said NO to all of those poisonous thoughts the Devil was trying to whisper to me AGAIN today. NO I will NOT be discouraged! NO I will NOT be upset! Can I change the fact that I messed up? No, I can’t. Does God still love me? YES! He does. Did he forgive me when I asked him to? Of course he did AND on top of that he ENCOURAGED and COMFORTED me!
“A thousand times I’ve failed
Still your mercy remains
Should I stumble again
Still I’m caught in your grace”
So instead of letting myself focus on how awful I felt for messing up, I focused on the fact that even though I mess up, God is PATIENT and UNDERSTANDING and MERCIFUL in a way that we can’t even begin to understand. Not that letting my emotions control me and letting my mouth say whatever negative thing that came to it was ok. It wasn’t. It was sinful. But I asked and God FORGAVE me for it. Do I ever want to feel like I felt yesterday again, no flipping way ever in my life do I want to feel that out of control and off my head and negative. I can’t even understand how I lived everyday inside of that for so many years. It just makes me that much more thankful that I live to serve a merciful God who FORGIVES and FORGETS. Who RESCUES us from darkness. Who sees us at our worst and still loves us and calls us to his heart.
So, with this I wanted to encourage you. I want you to know that you’re not alone. That even though we don’t like to admit defeat, it still happens sometimes. Some mistakes are gonna be bigger than others. Sometimes you’ll have to reap the unpleasant consequences of those mistakes. Some mistakes are gonna hurt more, but God will always forgive if you sincerely ask with a humble heart. He won’t love you less, and he NEVER gives up on his children.
“If grace is an ocean we’re all sinkin.”