Raw

The last week has been hard. So extremely hard. I have cried over and over. Things people said to me have had me completely broken apart inside. The words came from my husband, or a friend, or a family member. . . they didn’t mean to hurt me, they were probably clueless to the devastation I felt,  but the words triggered something deep inside of me. Something I thought I was doing a better job of handling.

A little over a year ago, I proved my brokenness by going to a counselor. I had 10 sessions with her over the course of 5 days. It was hard and ugly and incredibly beautiful. I left the facilities more broken and yet somehow more whole. During that week, we worked through so many layers of pain to get to the root of my belief system. I discovered that I had lived my life based on lies. Three main lies. I left knowing I would most likely face these lies for most of my life in some way or another but I also left knowing that I didn’t have to live my life out of those lies. Facing them is different than living them. So the last year I have been tackling those lies head on or so I thought.

It’s interesting how the lies show up. Recently one of my lies have been showing up in everything, even in nice things.

–It can come in the form of a compliment, “You’ve lost weight!! You look good!!!” I am worthless unless I am skinny. 

–It can show up in a discussion, “You assumed I meant something I didn’t mean.”  You’re not smart enough. You destroy relationships. You’re worthless.

–“Are you sure you’re going to be able to sell that??” You’re a failure. You can’t do anything right. You’re worthless. 

–“I really wish we would do more things with these people.” You always ruin everyones fun. Your feelings are not important. You’re worthless. 

Last night I was barely able to choke down my supper. Tears were running down my face the whole time cause I couldn’t make them stop. I didn’t even know how to make them stop at that point. My stomach was a ball of knots due to the anxiety of it all. I honestly wasn’t sure what was going on except that I was hurting really bad. It felt like I was overreacting. But at the same time I knew I  couldn’t downplay how positively wrecked I was.

My husband and daughter went on a walk, I curled up in a ball in the back room and cried and prayed. Then I grabbed a piece of paper and a sharpie, I began to write out the words swirling around my head. They all ended in ‘you’re worthless. worthless. WORTHLESS.”  As I wrote, the pain came up and out. I sobbed like a the broken little girl I am.

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Then I grabbed another piece of paper, and began to write truth for every one of the lies that I was hearing. I got some giant gold tape and taped the paper to my mirror, mistakes and all, so it’s the first thing I see every morning. Because, let’s face it, I’m not doing a good job of living out of truth. Satan has been winning in the battle for my mind.

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I am once again wearing my truth bracelet. It jingles everywhere I go, singing to me, “You are priceless, You are beloved.” (btw, it’s be-love-ed. if you say it where everything flows together like the newish Christian song, I cringe. I like it better when it’s said the old fashioned way.) I am raw these days. You might see tears run down my face a lot. Or I might look pretty exhausted. It’s cause I’m fighting and it’s a hard, hard fight, but I WILL WIN.

p.s. Please don’t read this and be like, “oh my word, I have to be so careful what I say around her.” NO! NO! NO! That is the furthest thing from my mind. I am responsible for the lies that I believe. The lies that I have allowed myself to believe and live can turn the most beautiful words into something repulsive. Don’t tiptoe around me.  I need you to be you, I love honestly and openness, the last thing I want is for you to hide yourself away out of fear.

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He Makes me {Brave}

Anxiety has been tracking my every step the last while. Its funny cause as soon as I say that people are like, well what is making you anxious?? Well, actually, it’s not funny because the color red can make me have an anxiety attack right now. If you think that sounds ridiculous. . . I do too. But my brain isn’t itself right now. I was a little too aggressive in messing with my meds. So everything is upside down and inside out and sometimes the way the sun hits the leaves sends me spiraling into another one of those moments of terror. When those hit, they consume you. You don’t want them to be there cause really who wants to feel scared?? So you fight them and fight them hard, you try to think about something else and all you can think of is things that scare you.

I feel on edge almost all the time. My insecurities are just a breath away. I get hit with one of those anxiety attacks– And suddenly, the election, my self worth, the mini grim reaper in the grocery store, the giant spider in my neighbors halloween decor, the scary clowns I read about on Facebook, my daughters sickness, my choices. . . are all towering up in front of me and I am facing a field of giants with enormous spears and horrible looking swords. It takes a split second to go from sane to TERRIFIED.

I’ve been finding that in the moment that terror strikes, fighting it with reason does absolutely no good. In fact the terror lasts at least twice as long if not longer. The only thing that seems to make it go away is to fight it with rest. Which means it HITS me, I relax my mind and body. I have to make a choice to not think about all the giants on that field in front of me and think about my Jesus. Giants tend to shrink when you think about Jesus. and suddenly, the election, my self worth, the mini grim reaper in the grocery store, the giant spider in my neighbors halloween decor, the scary clowns, my daughters sickness, my choices. . . are pretty tiny. Non-exhistant really. Because of Him. His face. His mighty mighty right Hand. Instead of being terrified, I feel brave. Cause I belong to that Jesus.

I can’t make myself NOT have an anxiety attack. The color red may still send me into that terror but. . .

I am brave because I am His.

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The Broken Comb

Every Sunday morning I have a major identity crisis. I somehow stumble through the week not knowing who I am but Sunday morning,  the thought of facing all those ‘good, pretty’ people at church, it all comes to head in a really nasty way.

I go through outfits upon outfits to settle for something that still doesn’t make me look like I want to look. Majority of the time my hair doesn’t go right. I can’t walk in the shoes I want to wear. (I love heels, but SERIOUSLY how to walk in them?!?!?!) After a particularly horrible getting dressed process, I broke a comb. No it wasn’t because my hair were that ratty. It was because I threw it. Cause I was mad. I know, I know, real mature there, Brittany. . . If it makes you feel better– I could hear all the words my mother would tell me if she had been there, in fact I DID hear them in reality when I told her about it later. Back to the story, we were late for church due to my identity crisis. My husband was less than impressed with me. I was far from pleased with myself. I plopped myself on the couch and started brooding over the problem.

After I had my baby, I had a lot of leftover baby weight. It wouldn’t come off. I didn’t like myself like that. So I finally started a rather drastic change in the way I eat. I lost the amount of weight I wanted to and guess what?? I still don’t like myself. I didn’t like myself before I had Avi. I didn’t like myself when I was a teenager. I didn’t like myself when I was a child. I was different weights at all those times. I have come to the conclusion as my husband informed me in an incredibly stern voice on that, broken-comb-late-for-church morning, it’s a mindset. I’ve heard that lots of times but have never really agreed with it all the way deep down inside of me. As I continue to think about it, I am beginning to agree with it very much. I also think it has very little to do with whether I like myself or not. I think it has to do with what I believe about myself. More to the point–Who do I believe?

I have been discovering that everything goes back to that— do I really believe in the wild, crazy, revolutionary thing that is called the Gospel, or do I not? There is no middle ground. Either I believe it all or I believe none of it.

Believing it all means that I no longer accept the voice of Satan as the voice of truth.  I have read all kinds of identity books over the years, I have read through verse compilations telling me what God thinks about me, etc, etc. But until I take that into my heart as truth. . . truth will be what my culture says, what Satan feeds me, or whatever else comes up.

After growing up in a Christian culture it’s a little shocking to be a twenty something that doesn’t really even know what God thinks about her. The last seven months have been full of lies being replaced with Truth, but I wasn’t letting Him redefine every aspect. I was withholding a part of my identity from Him. The rage of throwing a comb showed me that.

That means instead of searching for who I am in a book, in my culture, or looking for affirmation in the words of others, I need to go to the Truth itself. I need to go to God and ask Him Who I am. Only He has the power to truly transform and redeem identities.

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