You don’t understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.
you have only
taking a picture
and looking at the
image and staring
in the mirror and
looking at your
you don’t get to see
the way your eyes
light up when you talk
and you can never
see how beautiful
you look when you
it’s really is kinda
sad that never
actually seen yourself
but I can promise you
I will be here everyday
to tell you what i seeR’J
I’m about to be really honest here. because I believe we are meant to be transparent and vulnerable. I am sure it will sound silly to you (because it sounds silly to me,) but this has had the greatest hold on me the past year and I just can’t wait to share what God has shown me.
I have shared in the past that I struggle with anxiety. sure, that may have been hard to admit (it was at first for me) but then it became a crutch. it was a safe hiding place. I ran to my “anxiety” because I knew it. It was a known thing to me and I found some comfort in that. I found some comfort in blanket-ly calling it anxiety because I knew what i was actually afraid of was crazy. stupid. silly. minuscule. ridiculous. the list of what satan fed me goes on and on.
I cannot tell you why, but my fear began in africa. I have never liked throwing up (who does, right?) but I had never compulsively worried about it. until africa. it could have been preconceived notions that the food/water would make me sick. or the fact that I had a staph infection (a pretty knarly one that was secretly scaring me to death) or the fact that I was trying to shove down a numerous amount of pills a day (I have always believed taking pills would cause me to vomit). I believe it was a mixture of the three, along with satan’s attacks. the sun shone upon me during the day in africa, but at night it was DARK. and ask anyone who was there, I mean DARK. I wrestled with so much darkness within myself. so much worry, so many tears, so. many. doubts. I mean crying gagging fits. I mean, multiple people praying over me to get medicine down. it was embarrassing, it was silly, but to me it was real.
after africa, I never got over the fear. I can honestly say that there were periods of time that I worried EVERY SINGLE DAY that I was going to throw up. for no reason at all and for every reason in the world “last time I ate this…” “last time I wore this…” “last time I went there…” not even kidding. it was THAT bad. I avoided habits, restaraunts, outfits-I was obsessed. I was fixated on the fear. and every day, I battled physical attacks. panic attacks have no boundaries. i could be alone, or I could be in a room full of people. and regardless of what brought on the anxiety, I ALWAYS felt naseous. so sick to my stomach that I could not focus on nothing else. there months where once a week I would awake from a dead sleep trembling, and “knowing” that I was about to vomit.
it warped my view of God. my boyfriend (one of the very few who knew the extent) would say each time “erica, did you throw up yesterday when this happened?” and EACH time, I would say “no, but this time is different ryan. I know it is. it doesn’t feel the same. I have to throw up at some point. I have been delivered far too many times before. this has to be it” and that’s how I saw it. I saw it as God giving and taking from me. as if God would give me a little nausea to watch me beg for my health…and when I begged just enough, he would take it away (that time) only to hold it over my head for the next. like a sick game between master and student.
each time it happened I would say “God, please not tonight, please don’t let me throw up.” always convicted to add “but your will be done,” but never could. because what if God’s will was for me to be sick that night? I did not trust God enough for that.
flash forward to tonight. the lovewell’s FIRST EVENT. when I first began working with the Hub, we did not even have a BUILDING or STAFFERS…and tonight, we had our very first event in OUR NEW SPACE. it was a beautiful night. it was a night that had been fought for, dreamed of, and prayed fervently for. and the message was on fear-“what you fear becomes your God” in plain terms, what you fear controls you. how we should hold NOTHING higher than God and I realized I had been holding onto my health so tightly that I had lost sight of the one I love so dearly. the wall that I had been complaining about to him had been erected by ME. “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” -Psalm 86:11 I had a divided heart. I had been thinking all along that if I trusted God in every area but that one, we could move forward together. a LIE. every time I felt nauseous, I had told him to his face “I don’t trust you with this, stay out” and he had so mercifully allowed me to do so. I had been telling him that I loved him every night but during the day that I couldn’t trust him. DIVIDED HEART.
so today. when I was sitting over the toilet (the most realistic episode to date) through my tears I said “I trust you God.” and it wasn’t forced. it wasn’t a “this is what he wants so I’ll do it” I meant it. I saw his love for me and I let him in. I let him come close once again. and I didn’t throw up. but that isn’t the point anymore. I do not care anymore. I honestly, whole heartedly trust HIM with this. I might still throw up tonight and you know what? that would be okay. I finally realized why all my prayers weren’t “working.” All my on the floor, crying for him to intercede. All the people who told me “well, you must not be giving him everything if he isn’t answering” I thought I had come to the end of me. I thought I’d reached rock bottom SO MANY times. but I hadn’t. I was just on a ledge. because the minute you hit rock bottom, you relinquish control. you HAVE TO, or it isn’t rock bottom. you have not reached the end of yourself if you’re still relying on yourself. after all this time, it wasn’t that he wasn’t answering-it was the reality of HOW could I trust him to take away my fears without even trusting him IN my fear?
“Chains are broken, and scales are on the floor
Truth is spoken, I’m no orphan anymore
Oh I am loved, and I am new again, And I am free, I’m no slave to sin”
God LOVES to set his people free. I knew that in my head, but tonight-it moved into my heart. thankful for the brokenness that led me to trust you, God. and thankful for these BROKEN CHAINS.