“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” Revelation 2:4
This…this is hard to admit. This is difficult to swallow – have I abandoned my first love? Is this where my issues began? Not keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus? Not putting Him first? I don’t really know how it all began just that I came under attack and could not pull myself out. Was it the enemy? Was it my own selfishness? Whatever it was… it made me miserable. The thoughts crept in, the lies whispered in my ear were loud and my mind started believing them, dwelling on them and my emotions followed. And then the enemy’s attacks kept me despondent. I was numb, afraid, and felt more alone than I ever have before. And before I knew it, I was not waking up each day and getting on my knees, pouring over His Word, praying, worshiping… Oh, I was going through the motions and reading here and there but God felt distant. On Christmas day I cried off and on all afternoon because my kids went home early. And the lie was…I am unlovable and therefore, no one wants to spend time with me. Over the next couple weeks I grew even more agitated and lonely and really just wanted to be around “my people”, those people that would just love me regardless of how I was/am. My husband didn’t really know what to do with me except cherish me and he did it so well. With James’ prompting, I planned a trip to my old hometown to see my cousin and my aunt. My cousin got sick and I couldn’t go see her, I spent an extra day with my aunt and then James said I should check-in to a hotel for a couple days. I took him up on that request and read “Get Out of Your Head”, my Bible, cried, prayed, and cried some more. I did feel better, I realized that some of the things I was thinking were lies and I needed to apply truth to them. And I did. I knew the right answers but my heart was still hurting.
“The danger of toxic thinking is it produces an alternate reality, one in which distorted reasoning actually seems to make sense.” – Jennie Allen (Get Out of Your Head, page 24)
The last few months have been ugly. I’ve had good days but overwhelming bad ones that kept me from wanting to trust Jesus, to believing He loves me and wants to use me. I love Jesus, so very much. I am so grateful for His sacrifice and love for me. But lately, I have been feeling worthless, unlovable, and helpless. I have somewhat of a control issue and when something I love felt like it was being taken away from me I started to spiral out of control and the lies came creeping back in. These lies remained unconfessed and unchecked for months and the result was a several day meltdown that left me feeling even more dejected because now I have been found out, I have admitted that I am not as perfect as everyone thinks (I’m sure someone might have thought that, ha) and I felt like a big loser, a hypocrite, a terrible friend, and a lousy christian. As difficult as that was, I knew it was the beginning of my healing. James 5:16 tells us – confess your sins one to another so that you may be healed and I needed healed, I wanted to be healed of this torment that was going on in my mind and heart.
I would like to blame this whole thing on the enemy but if I’m really honest, I am prideful. Pride, pride, pride – my biggest sin. We do not want anyone to think less of us or to see the real us or to believe anything less than good about us and you know why? Because we’ve been hurt by others’ opinions and careless words. But this is when and where it is most important to lay down that pride because the Lord gives grace to the humble but resists the proud. I don’t want God to resist me, I desperately need His grace. His opinion is the only opinion that matters. What He thinks of us is what’s truly important. And I forget, I get caught up and wrapped up in many things and then I forget that His grace is for me too. And if I will just stop and remember the God I serve, that this world is not my home, and that He is so in control…I will be okay. It’s going to be okay! I have been reminded this week to remember my first love…Jesus. He is my delight and I am His!
“Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2
Who cares about all of this other stuff? Even the good things that God calls us to and allows us to be a part of here on earth are going to end. His Kingdom lasts forever and I want to live running to it, running to Him over and over and over again. Focus on Jesus, set your mind on eternal things – Kingdom things, replace the lies with the truth of God’s Word, confess and be healed.
Take a listen to Jennie Allen’s podcast “Made For This” – Season 3: Bonus Episode “Your delight can’t be taken from you.” The first two chapters of Jennie’s book “Get Out of Your Head” are also included in this episode.
One more thing, music speaks…worship the Lord in song and run to the Father.