Sunday, July 28, 2013

Your chains will never fall until you do

I am in the midst of spiritual war.
Arrows and lies are flying at me from every direction, and I am a mess.

My mind is a mess. A jumble of things I cannot discern, cannot fix, cannot understand, and cannot get over.

I do not really remember my childhood, but I know that so much of what I struggle with now – and have struggled with for years – stems from it. There was never any type of abuse. But indifference? Busyness? Silence? Yes.

And for someone whose love languages are words and physical touch, the stark lack of both has done its damage.

Don’t misunderstand; I am not dissing my family. No family is perfect, and in many respects, mine was extremely good. But at the same time, the way my family was, was, honestly, very brutal to my heart.

All my life, I have been oppressed by Satan, and I have relied on oppression. It is so “normal” to me that I can’t really imagine life being any different.

I have been deceived by Satan – and, honestly, the church – and I have depended on that deceit.

I have built my life on fear.
I have built my personality on lies.  

In no exact order, my default mindset entails these things:

~I believe making mistakes is awful and something to avoid.
~I believe getting in trouble is awful and something to avoid.
~I believe that conflict is bad.
~I believe I am a/the source of conflict, especially when I speak what is on my heart/mind.
~I believe I cause problems.
~I believe I am a burden.
~I believe I am “too much” and “not enough.” (Too needy/not good enough; stuff like that.)
~I believe that it is up to me to keep the peace in my life.
~I believe that everything hinges on me.
~I believe I am ultimately on my own.
~I believe that I have to fix myself before I can come to God to ask for help.
~I believe, at the very least, I have to know exactly what is wrong with me before coming to God to ask for help.
~I believe I have to pray/say the exact right words, or my prayer won’t be answered.
~I believe I cannot speak my mind or heart – it is too much for people to handle.
~I believe I am annoying, irritating, and frustrating.
~I believe that I have to walk on eggshells around mostly everyone.
~I believe that I must pick my words carefully to keep people from getting upset at what I say/write.
~I believe that if someone is dealing with a lot, it is cruel of me to ask for anything from them.
~I believe that I am not worth knowing, pursuing, or fighting for.
~I believe that the times I have been hurt deeply are my fault.
~I believe that I, though I have the ability to see that something is a lie, will still believe it anyway.
~I believe that God tolerates me, but does not love me, and at any moment, he may cast me aside.
~I believe God is mad at me, irritated with me, impatient with me, and always on the verge of blowing up.
~I believe that I must be perfect.
~I believe that I will not be loved and wanted unless I am perfect.
~I believe that I will always be left wanting and unfulfilled.
~I believe that when I share my heart, I will be met my indifference or total ignoring/silence.
~I believe I should not have needs/desires; and if I do have them, I should not express them.
~I believe if I voice my needs/desires, I will come off as needy, and I don’t want to be needy.
~I believe that if I allow myself to need people, they will let me down, or not care enough to meet my needs.
~I believe that when it comes down to it, I will be left alone with an army raining down on me.

There are other things too, most of them are rather interconnected, as you can probably see from that list. Bottom line, I live under Satanic condemnation, accusation, guilt, self-condemnation, fear, confusion, and the weight of lies.

The fallen me, the one who lives out of the beliefs above, is a withdrawn, distrustful, fearful perfectionist who is terrified of making a mistake, criticism, and being met with indifference when she tries to be honest. She is utterly graceless and unforgiving toward herself, and beats herself up for the smallest “mistake.” She believes she is not worth fighting for, and that she cannot depend on anyone to have her back in a moment of need, so she holds people at arm’s length and doesn’t let herself need them.

That is who and what I am apart from God. Left to myself – or even when I pull away from God – I start becoming that person. I tense. I strive. I worry. I doubt. I watch every step I make and word I say, and condemn myself if I mess up in any way. I withdraw. I fall back into believing those same old lies, and I start acting out of their power over me.

When I start going down a dark path, my natural inclination is to try harder. To strive more.

But God says that “in repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” The very things I do trying to save myself are the exact opposites of what he says actually works.

My understanding of repentance has always been something like, “feeling bad for what you did wrong.”

In Hebrew, “repentance” means “to turn, to return.” It means other things too, but to me, that encapsulates it all.

It could read this way: “In turning from your natural way of doing things and returning to MY way is your salvation.”

Or, “In turning from who you think you are and returning to the person I created you to be is your salvation.”

Turn from what I have believed for years, from the lies that imprison me.
Return to God, to the truth, to the one who rescues me.

When I am driving and I don’t know where I am, my natural reaction is to drive faster.
When I am struggling and don’t know what to do, my natural reaction is to strive more.

I am tired of doing that.
Really tired.

Surrender is the only thing that will help me. The only thing that will lead to freedom.
My chains will never fall until I do.
Until I fall at God’s feet in full surrender.

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