Living With Addiction
Strongholds of Shame
Broken Behaviors of Abuse
Day 18 of 40
Peace! Perfect Peace! Can we actually have it through our storms of darkness and decay? It’s hard to fathom that concept and wrap ourselves around it, but if we remember to grab ahold of the Hand of God extending down from heaven, He will safely walk us through it with peace that surpasses all knowledge. This increases our endurance to overcome as we press towards the finish line with grace and dignity!
I don’t like pain. Sometimes I even feel like a gentle touch from a loved one might hurt. That may sound melodramatic, but I’ve endured more pain than I care or dare to admit and I just wish it would all end this side of heaven.
We tend to forget that when we have emotional pain like depression from disease, divorce, loss of job, etc., we then encounter the cause and effect of physical pain to the body and spiritual loss. Same goes when we have physical pain caused from chronic issues, disease, broken bones, we then suffer the effects of emotional depression, anxiety, anger and spiritual loss.
Notice how I put “spiritual loss” last above with both physical and emotional pain? When we go through grief, pain, loss of any kind, we tend to lean towards isolation because we feel ashamed, we don’t feel anyone cares or understands or we just need time to process it all and we push others away, including God. That’s the worst thing we can do, suffer spiritual loss and go at it alone. There’s power in numbers; it’s called community.
God wants to help us during our grief and trials by receiving His love that He directs through others. We need others to carry us and our burdens so we don’t push away the support that the Lord orchestrates. This is a time to draw in and cleave to the Lord’s strong legs because He is the only one directing our stories. He wants strong and healthy children that can go out into the world and help others while bringing Him glory.
If we become devoid of our connection with God because we have walked away from Him, then we are cutting off our lifeline of community and the life preservers that could have aided us in arriving at our next destination sooner and stronger, along with the perfect peace we are all striving for!
In writing about my cycle of abuse, I didn’t intend to start with sharing about my ex’s confusion regarding his sexual orientation preferences. It not only brought on so much more pain through the betrayal in marriage, but being stripped down naked of any shred of femininity is what a lot of us live through each day! Society dictates how we should look and act while being perfect in an imperfect world. Wrong! Our worth and value should be found in whom God says we are only; Beautiful Beloveds!
My emotional scars took a lot of healing and time with God, sitting at His feet and letting His love letter (Bible) permeate my soul so He could actually get his six-foot drill bit into my hardened heart and clear out all the disease (pain) that life with addiction, shame, abandonment, betrayal, and abuse developed. Just getting through the scar tissue itself to bring back life was brutal enough, much less mending and sewing up my hemorrhaging heart through God’s meticulous precision and intricacies of love.
So what’s all this hype about reading God’s Word? The Bible isn’t about fables and stories, it’s about the Truth that sets us free and the nature of God and His goodness. God knows the kind of pain and struggles we’d be subjected to here on earth and so He picked every kind of personality imaginable to relate their stories and the consequences given. The world needs this great moral compass to gauge our conduct.
For example, I struggle with fear BIG TIME. Every time I start freaking out, I flip open my Bible to the Book of Exodus 3-4 and read about Moses’ insecurities and fears regarding leadership speaking. When God told me I would be speaking in front of women, I threw a Tammy Tantrum fit of the worst kind and ran the other way because I thought there would be no way I could ever do that.
Fear is paralyzing, not mobilizing. Public speaking brings out the worst in me; peeing my panties! I’m not kidding either. God shares with me that though I may feel inadequate, He is right there alongside of me holding my hand and equipping me with what to say and the provision needed. I am proof positive of both crawling to the finish line and receiving the blessings found from the favor of God through peace, favor and fulfillment.
Remember, I started reading the Word along with cracking open a beer, like I said, because God invites us and love us just the way we are. When you spend time in someone’s presence, you automatically mirror what they project and give. His transformation severs addictions, rage, depression, fear, and especially insecurities before we even realize it.
God has taken my shattered life and molded it back together by intricately gluing each piece back together so not only is it stronger, but it’s more beautiful and it illuminates His glory through the transparency of the Superglue. God loves putting broken and messy lives back together because, after all, Psalm 34:18 reminds us that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” God is Love, that is why He sent His son, Jesus Christ, into the world; not to just save those who believe and offer reconciliation, but He came to heal the brokenhearted just like me (Luke 4:18).
Forewarning, I will be writing sporadically in the next couple of weeks, but I will share graphic and violent events solely to show you the power brought about through God’s gift of healing and transformation. Fear versus Faith. Now I’m an overcomer. Enjoy Mandisa’s Overcomer.
Until next time…