MY FOREVER BROKEN SOUL       

Wow. Forever. That’s what I keep hearing every time I think about and continue to tearfully deal with my own brokenness. It’s been almost four months since I’ve written last and a lot has happened in my life since then. First, I celebrated my 4th year of God’s miracle sobriety (thank You, God!). Soon after that, I graduated from Celebrate Recovery’s Step Study (12 Step program).  And now I have a brand new nephew who was born on Palm Sunday. A brand new life! Praise the Lord! There’s so much more to celebrate and to be grateful to God for, which I have been. But there is also still so much pain that I’m discovering that is barely reaching the surface. The slow healing process has been all in God’s perfect timing and in HIS way. Not my own. I have to keep reminding myself of that. I finally stopped asking Him “God, why don’t You just reach down and completely heal me already??!!” I mean, He’s done it in other areas of my life like physical healing’s, but with my deep emotional scars…well, not so much. It’s been very slow, and it’s been PAINFUL. Believe it or not though, I wouldn’t want it any other way because it draws me so near to Him and I am learning such life saving lessons that I wouldn’t learn with an instant healing so I am very grateful for that!

I have been walking this incredible emotional healing journey with the Lord for over a year now. I think it has been the toughest part of my journey thus far. I’ve mentioned before in other posts that I really had no idea how broken I was until I was taken back in time so I could figure what it was in my life that caused the depression and darkness and the desire to try to drink myself to death, and learn from it. Going back and digging deep into my soul was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I didn’t think I could ever be thankful for this, but I truly am thankful to the Celebrate Recovery ministry for taking me there. It was definitely the hand of God that led me to that ministry and the timing of it blows me away. None of the healing that I have received so far would have happened had I not stepped out in faith and started their Step Study. I must tell you, I so did not want to be there, but just like at the beginning of my spiritual journey over four years ago, I just kept showing up. God kept showing up too. He still does of course. You see for me, it was more than my dad walking out of my life when I was a young teen that caused all of my issues in life. That was truly a traumatic event in my life that started me down the dark path, but I’ve since discovered that there’s much more to my hurting and depression. There were more traumatic events that took place later on so I can’t blame it all on him. Years of burying the pain helped me to forget about it, but I never really truly forgot about it. You can’t heal what you don’t feel, right? There have been things in my life, even to this day that trigger old painful memories to come back. It’s been difficult for me to admit that I am still broken, but I guess it’s unrealistic to think that the hurts will completely go away some day never to be remembered ever again. Besides, if I don’t remember them, how am I going to be able to help others through theirs? I believe that only broken people can help broken people. So I am going to keep learning all I can in dealing better with the pain so I can get through this and share it with others.

Not a whole lot of people around me know (well, I guess they will now if they read this) that I’m in therapy working on some of the deep emotional scars that have come to surface. I was concerned because I felt myself starting to feel like I was going backwards a bit into depression. I can’t go back there, I just can’t. So after some prayer and seeking guidance from my pastor and another dear friend I trust, God led me to someone who has been wonderful in helping me to overcome the past hurts and tools to help me through new difficult situations that may trigger old ways of thinking so that I can avoid going back into the pit. Just like CR, I didn’t want to go and pour my hurting heart out to a stranger! But I don’t regret one moment of it and I thank God for strong men and women of faith who are therapists! God has been a part of just about every session and I am grateful! Why am I sharing this? I don’t know!! It’s a God thing—I’m just following His lead praying it will let someone else know it’s okay if they need help. God uses everything for good.

Okay, so I’m thinking that my soul will be forever broken while walking this earth and if that’s true, it’s actually a good thing for me. I am embracing the pain. Now honestly, I wasn’t thinking that a couple of weeks ago as I was crying through more pain, but now that my eyes are dry I see it’s a good thing because I will always be dependent on God. It will make Him my one and only desire. I don’t ever want to live this life on my own again, putting all of my hope in people and things of this world. It didn’t work out so well for me the first 44 years of life. It almost killed me like it has killed so many already. This is why I share my life. It is my hope that my testimony will encourage someone out there who is where I used to be.

Friend I’m really glad you’re here reading this. Perhaps you’re someone who is at the end of your rope barely holding on. You may be considering ending it all because the pain is too much to bear. Don’t do it. I’m grateful that I didn’t. God is here and He loves you more than you can ever imagine. He’s just waiting for you to call out to Him. You don’t need an elaborate prayer. You can say something as simple as “Jesus, I need You. I can’t do this on my own anymore. I’m tired. Will you help me?” Friend, He is real and He WILL help you if you ask Him to, so I pray you will. But you must remember it’s HIS when, and HIS way. I just know that if you do this, your life is about to change in a drastic way. Surrender your heart and just trust Him and others (like me) who are walking the same walk. Just take a look at my other stories to see some of the amazing things God has done. I’m taking chances sharing my heart so openly on this blog. I hope it will encourage you to take a chance too. Is it going to be easy? No. But I can testify that it is sure going to be more than worth it.

“Lord, I lift my hurting friends up to you. Please bless them and start the healing process in them. You led them here for a reason, Lord. Bring people like me into their lives so they do not have to walk this journey alone. Bring them people who can help them find hope in You. Bring people to them who will show them Your love. Make Yourself real to them like you have done for me and so many others. Help them to know Your love and that Your gift of life is SO worth living for. Thank You, Lord.  In Your precious name Jesus, I pray. Amen.”

Thanks to you all for “listening” to my heart. It feels good to be writing about the great things of God in my life again. God bless you. ♥

The Love That Never Came—A Post For Empty Hearts

“You are not alone…” How many times have you heard someone who wants to help say those words to you and when you get home to an empty place and start the battle of a lonely and empty heart all over again, you really wish those people, who can’t possibly understand what you’re going through, would stop trying to help?

I’ve been there. I know your pain. And I’ll be honest and share with you that I still struggle with being single and childless at times, especially this time of year as we start heading into the holiday season. I get the holiday blues. It’s the most challenging part of the year for me and has been since I was 16—when my dad left me and my mom.

I haven’t written since the last post in September over a month ago. Soon after I published it, I felt like I started battling again with a little bit of depression. Funny isn’t it? I pour my heart out on this blog with the hope that others will be encouraged to reach for the Lord and then I find myself struggling again. My first reaction was to be embarrassed by it, but then I realized that I am human like everyone else. I never claimed to be perfect. I’m still working on issues from my recovery journey and I will continue to share this journey and be honest about it. I’m so thankful that I am still strong in the Lord and He continues to help me through it all, along with the most amazing family of God standing by my side. And one of the best miracles of my life is still a miracle—I am still sober and approaching my four year milestone in just four months. Praise the Lord.

So don’t be upset with those trying to help you. They wouldn’t want to help if they didn’t truly care.  Although some of them can’t really understand what being alone and/or what being lonely can be like, I have learned to appreciate them for caring, I appreciate their love. I am grateful I have learned to reach out and let them know that I am struggling. That took a while for me to let go of my pride and reach out. I didn’t want them to know I was struggling or why. Reaching out is not easy, but it has been a great lesson. The prayers have been powerful. Who doesn’t need people praying for them??!! I have so many who have been praying for me and it has been an amazing walk through this latest valley. I may have said this before in a previous post, but it’s worth repeating…the Lord always guides (more like carries) me through to the other side, every single time. And I am always better and stronger than before I started walking through it.  I could not keep up this walk without my loving family of God backing me up.  I can never tell them enough how grateful I am that they are in my life. In the past, I used to keep it all inside and that almost destroyed me…especially because I did not know the Lord at that time.

So you know what I have discovered through all of this? I really am NOT alone…EVER. Even when it feels like I am. I’ve got Jesus in my heart and the most amazing family of God holding me up. Anytime I hear those words “You are not alone” from someone, it doesn’t matter whether or not they can relate to my circumstances, I am going to claim those words. I think it’s good to be reminded now and again.

For the longest time I believed the lies that I was unlovable and would never find love and that it just wasn’t meant to be for me. I regretfully made choices that have kept me single all these years. My last relationship was a severely mentally abusive one (you can read more about it in “I was a lost soul…” posted in September 2012) and after finally breaking away from it, that’s when I had lost all hope. I walked around believing that love never came and that it would never come because  I didn’t deserve it.

I was SO wrong. I am still single with no children but I am surrounded by love—God’s amazing love—I was just too lost and blind to know it at first. It’s true that there is no greater love than His. I don’t know what God’s will is for me as far as marriage. I can’t worry about it. I’ve discovered that I am still in need of healing from that last horrible relationship and I am working on that. So I just keep doing what I have learned to do. I keep God first in area every of my life, I serve Him in ministry which is my passion now, and I trust Him to provide what I need one day at a time and He always more than provides.

For those who are going through this struggle, I am praying for you. Don’t ever give up. And don’t try to walk this walk alone. It’s true that no man or no woman is an island. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others who will lift you up. I pray you have or find a church family like mine. A church filled with the love of God and love for one another—a family that will never let you walk alone. I have even been blessed with many godly people that have their own church. So He has truly surrounded me with His love. I pray that you will seek God with your whole heart and put Him above all. Open up your heart completely and He will fill the emptiness with His love and peace. It’s indescribable when it happens, but you will know without a doubt when it does. He’s the only One who really can fill the hole in your heart—I am speaking from experience. And who knows. If it’s His will that you get married, He will make it happen…in his perfect timing of course. Here’s a good scripture verse that I like to keep on my heart at all times: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 (NLT) Amen. Keep Him first always and you can never go wrong.

I am going to end this with these words because I believe them to be true: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I hope you believe it too. Be encouraged. Be blessed. YOU ARE LOVED!! ♥