Saturday, March 28, 2009

Real Strength

"It is the support and care and love you give yourself that gives you the real strength to care for and love others." Oprah Winfrey

I want to make a difference. I want to impact others in positive ways. I know it has to start with me. - Taking care of myself, honoring the life God blessed me with; embracing all of who I am; the good, the bad and the ugly. Accepting me just as I am. That is a tough thing to do some days. For years I berated myself for not being good enough. I did to myself what those who hurt me, did to me. I called myself names when I couldn't do something. I hurt myself to try to stop being afraid or when I felt vulnerable and weak. I refused to eat and threw up when I did because I believed I had no right to exist. That's what I was told. That's what I accepted.

The cult of deception: - lies I believed. Lies that almost destroyed me. Lies that kept me in a cycle of pain. I lived my life based on those lies. The lies made me sick. I had persistent panic attacks. Simply walking down the street triggered them. My stomach hurt. I felt dizzy, lightheaded. My perceptions became distorted and my heart raced. I felt like I was losing control and was powerless to stop it. I obsessed about the fear of being seen. Being seen meant getting hurt - I spent a lifetime hiding.

But amazingly God touched me. Broke the curse of deception. Cut the cords of despair. Filled me with a joy that bubbled and overflowed. The self-destructive behaviours continued. My need to hide persisted, except now I felt I wasn't alone in the dance anymore.

I started reading the Bible. I discovered its power of truth was able to dispel the darkness. I read and reread and learned I was made in His image. I found out I was the apple of His eye. I learned He wanted to set me free.

I moved with caution, but at least I moved. For every two steps forward I was thrown one back. I became frustrated, angry, overwhelmed. But I sensed His Spirit whispering encouragement, prodding me to keep taking a step, then another, and then another.

His touch empowered me. He poured His love into my broken spirit. Somehow His gentleness made a difference. There were days I was so consumed with self-hate that I raised my fist in the air and screamed at Him, daring Him to kill me. Amazingly, instead, He whispered words of peace. The presence of His love walked me through the lies and the pain - He taught me new ways to cope - running, nature, friends, His Word.

I want to partner with Him to help others find freedom. I live with tremendous gratitude.

5 comments:

Marj aka Thriver said...

I like the way you put a powerful quote at the beginning of each post. And I like the way you write...and I like your blog! Thanks for having courage and faith to share the way you do.

Patricia Singleton said...

Learning to love myself has been one of the most difficult and most rewarding things that I have ever learned to do. Some days I forget that still. Most days I remember.

Terri Tiffany said...

Great post about the power of our Lord!

Recovery Queen at www.recoveringme.com said...

I've added your blog to my favorites. Keep up the good work and God bless you!

Todd said...

I like your observation about the cycle of lies. All recovery begins when a person is able and willing to be honest with themselves.