Almost two years ago, I wrote this post. In the last week, I have had a revelation. This is the first time in many years that I do not have that familiar feeling of depression, which always worsens at this time of year. Something has changed.
During the last year, I have actively confronted something within myself that needed to be dealt with and it has been intense. Throughout my adult life, I have struggled with a specific, dysfunctional pattern of behavior. As a young woman, I saw myself as a victim of circumstance and wondered why I kept finding myself in the same situation. After I was saved, though, Jesus began to show me how I was unconsciously drawn to these situations, because of the abuse and neglect that I had experienced as a child. I pursued what I knew because that was what felt comfortable, but I kept hoping that the result would be different.
As my eyes were opened to this, I believed that God had healed me and that things would change. I had been looking for a need to be met and I knew it couldn’t be if I stayed in the place that I was in. Now, I had such hope in my heart for the future. Unfortunately, though, the day came when I realized that I was still trapped in the same pattern and despair overwhelmed me. Without admitting it to myself at the time, I set upon a course to meet the need for myself, although imperfectly.
I remember having conversations with God in my head during this time. He told me, “You are not trusting Me. You are not waiting on Me.” I responded, “It’s not You; it’s me. I know You have tried to heal me but I’m just too messed up. I’m a hopeless cause. This will just have to be good enough.” Of course, taking things into my own hands did not turn well. It just complicated things further.
As the years passed, I eventually admitted to myself what I had done and repented of it. I couldn’t change the choices I had made and how they had impacted my life, though. I was committed to walking in obedience but I didn’t have hope for the future. I was still dealing with the same feelings. I kept wishing that I could just be content with my life as it was and stop longing for this place in my heart to be filled.
A little over a year ago, though, God asked me to do something difficult. I chose to obey and took that first step. It didn’t seem to help anything at first. Actually, things seemed even worse. One day, though, a word came to me – idolatry. I had made the desire to have this need filled bigger than anything else in my life, including my relationship with God. Realizing that was a turning point. I’d had glimpses of it before, but I’d never given the sin a name. It was liberating. It gave me a concrete way to rebuke these feelings when I am tempted to dwell on what I do not have.
Then, one day, something else occurred to me. Fear is what had convinced me that God could never fix me. I let the enemy into my head. What I perceived as humility (There’s something wrong with me; I am not enough) was really me saying “This problem is bigger than You. YOU, God, are not enough.” I was afraid if I waited on God, that things would never get better. That’s when the second word came to me – trust. If I had only TRUSTED Him, there would have been no fear. I knew that I needed to fall in love with Jesus to be healed and I thought that I had done that, but I had never let myself trust Him with this area of my life.
I’ve made up my mind to trust Him from now on. I’ve put this need in His hands. That doesn’t mean that I’m not sad sometimes, or angry, or frustrated. It doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes. I don’t feel like that unbearable weight is sitting on my shoulders anymore, though, and I didn’t see that coming. God is good.