This is part two of my story.
For part one click here.
I had a happy marriage. (that is Dale's grandma with us)
Dale and I met when I was 15, he had just turned 18. We were each other’s one and only. We got married three years later. His personality was risk-taking, adventure-seeking, confident and decisive. Mine, timid, shy, reserved, sensitive… We were the perfect couple balancing each other well, until we began to disagree on parenting methods. Until he was away at work so much and I was feeling like a single mom.
During that time other legs also fell from my “support” stool. Relationships were strained in several places in my life.
We had made the decision to put our oldest, Kayla in school after homeschooling her through fourth grade. I found myself trying to be the “perfect mom” to her by helping in the classroom, walking her to and from school with Ethan whom I was still homeschooling.
On top of that, I increased craft-production in my little crafting business and held a boutique in my home that fall.
That was when the dizziness from the anxiety began. I knew I needed to “not be anxious about anything, but with prayer somehow drop my burden on the Lord and I’d have His peace. I just didn’t know how to do it. I began to drown in guilt and shame, self-condemnation and spiraled downward to insomnia the following fall. Insomnia lead to depression and oppression, near to despair.
I reached for people, but none had a hand that could lift me. God wanted it that way…He wanted me to know the futility of flesh. My own and others that I tended to lean on in affirming my worth, or leading me to answers…
Continually I held a thin thread of hope at every place of hopelessness, and was upheld from going under. That is what my faith amounted to during those days. A thin thread.
My heart heard a whisper of truth from God’s Word in the darkest times; His living, wonderful, comforting, guiding, correcting, freeing Word. That LOVE was my sustenance. Though His love seemed elusive to me, and I scarce believed it at the time. In my mind, yes, but in my heart, no.
Accusation was constant, and when it came, I knew it to be true. I was a worthless, faithless failure and I believed I was possibly ruining my kids… Outside of Christ I would have been...
However, I was in Christ, therefore, I had to learn the lesson about putting on my new nature. (2 Corinthians 5:17) I had to remember it was no longer I who lived, but it was Christ Jesus who lived inside of me. (Galatians 2:20) I had to learn that it is by GRACE that I stand by faith (Romans 5:2). Not by MY ability, or strength. (Philippians 3:3)
The very first Truth God gave me to start me on the path to freedom was the dawning that I was NOT a VICTIM of my thoughts. I had a choice. It had gotten to the point that all thoughts that came to my head were received in my heart if they were negative. It just made sense to me…I had no doubt my flesh (my self) was dross.
But we (believers) have the mind of Christ! (1 Corinthians 2:16b)
Accusation: “you have NO faith!” Answer: “when we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 (GRACE)
Accusation: “you are ruining your kids.” Answer: “He will restore what the locusts have eaten.” Joel 2:25 (GRACE)
Accusation: “you will not be free of this.” Answer: “I [God] will deliver you and bring you into a spacious place.” 2 Samuel 22:20 (GRACE)
Accusation: “you are worth nothing.” Answer: “you will lead women in triumphal procession in Christ.” (not me but Christ in and through me~a personal promise given to me that day) 2 Corinthians 2:14,15 (GRACE)
In those years, Jesus sustained me as he refined me from the impurities of my SELF-reliance. I had been a Christian for ten years prior. I had grown in love with Jesus and knowledgeable about scripture. I was leading Bible study and teaching Sunday school when I fell. (FROM GRACE and RELIED on mySELF again).
“He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food. Job 36:16
Tomorrow I will talk about the Spacious Place