Who Am I : Casting Crowns

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Praise You through the Storms

As I have stated in earlier posts, I am Bipolar. I don’t use this as a crutch, or an excuse for my behavior or my actions. I have just learned to accept it. I handle my illness quite well for the most part, so most people are unaware that this is something I have. According to my counselor, I am one of the few that can feel when I am about to have an episode. I believe this is because I am aware of most of my triggers and even though I do my best to avoid them… some just can’t be avoided.

Lately some of the unavoidable triggers have presented themselves, and I can feel the storm coming. I feel the walls building inside me to protect what little bit of me remains. I know that ahead of me are days of tears and anxiety. Then shortly after there will be days of rage then exhaustion. The medicines help but they don’t prevent these emotions… basically they numb me out and cause me to sleep. The few hours of sleep accomplished from the medicines allow me to keep up appearances and create the idea that I am okay for everyone else. It is an exhausting process.

I work diligently to remind myself that there are others that have many more issues than I do, and then reprimand myself for forgetting. It is a never-ending spiral… Fear, Hurt, Anger, Guilt, and then Rage. It’s not anything I can really explain, and nothing anyone can really fix. It is just something I have to live with.

So I am learning to Praise Jesus during the storms. I am learning to find shelter in His arms. I have been saved since I was a child. I have always seen God as the Daddy of all Daddies, the Friend of all Friends, the Great Healer, the Mighty Counselor yet I have always felt ashamed of coming into His presence with my trivial problems when there are so many other people who have problems so much worse than mine. How selfish that would be. Again, I know that as Christians we are supposed to take our problems to Him and He will mend our brokenness and give us rest. (Matthew 11:28-29 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.) Even though I know this in my heart and mind I still feel guilty for asking because He has already suffered so much for me. How selfish it is to ask Him to bear these burdens for me just so I can feel normal.Who am I that He should even acknowledge me, and yet I know He does. (Matthew 10:29-31 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[a] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.)

I know that God works in mysterious ways. I know that He never gives us a burden to bear that we can’t handle with Him. I know that in every gray cloud there is a silver lining, and in the silver lining we find Him. Maybe  this is why I am the way I am. Maybe these surges of emotions that I feel are being used for His will. Maybe I am not meant to understand. All I know is that He has a plan and I must Praise Him in good and bad.

So today, even though I am being tossed in this storm, I am Praising the One who I know will never leave me, my Abba Father! Daddy, I need you today. Thank you for loving me, even in all my brokenness. I know that I am not deserving of the grace you have given me, the sacrifices you have made for me, and the suffering you endured for me. Thank you for believing in me, even when I feel as though I am not strong enough to endure, I know that I am because I have YOU and You are strong enough for me. My heart and soul are forever yours. Use me for Your Will and I will follow you even through the storms.

 

Please read this Devotional from another site.

http://www.fathersloveletter.com/Devotionals/5_FLLdevotional.html

Strong Enough… Not Quite!

So, I went to WinterJam 2013 with my family and some dear friends from church. I can honestly say that out of all the many concerts I have attended…this was by far the BEST one! I have never seen so many people worship God in one place before! It was amazing! I imagine that this is just a small glimpse of what Heaven will be like… and I can’t wait to get there!

I have been given the spiritual gift of Empathy, and for a person who is Bipolar, floods of emotions are usually not good things but this rush of emotion was different. It was close to the rush you get from Revivals in small town Baptist churches. I felt invigorated and alive again… not exhausted and numb! God was there, in the midst of all of us! He showed up, and spoke to us through music, our music! It was GREAT!

If you have never been to WinterJam, let me encourage you to go! I can almost promise you will leave a different person than when you came. So far everyone I have talked to that went left with a lesson. This is mine.

I was raised by two very strong women, my Mother and Grandmother, who taught me to cope with these emotions, fears, and rage by pushing through and finding a silver lining. I was taught that everything happens for a reason and that the lessons taught within were gifts from God. I was also taught that God never gives us anything that we can’t handle. So I equated this to mean weakness was not an option. I also had a perfectionist for a father who taught that failure and anything less than perfect was not allowed. I am happy that my parents taught me to cope with life in this way. Through these lessons I have a good life, a life I am proud of. I am for the most part a very strong person. However, one can only be strong for so long before they become exhausted and weak, less than they are expected to be.

There is a battle that rages within me… A little voice that tells me that I am not enough, that I let others down because I become weak. There is a person who is broken, tired… no exhausted from trying to stay strong enough to push through the rage that comes from feeling abandoned when I do become weak.

This song spoke to me, reminding me that I don’t have to ALWAYS be strong, and I DON’T need anyone here to be strong for me because He IS strong enough for me, you and everyone else in the world.

“Strong Enough”

 

You must

You must think I’m strong

To give me what I’m going through

 

Well, forgive me

Forgive me if I’m wrong

But this looks like more than I can do

On my own

 

I know I’m not strong enough to be

everything that I’m supposed to be

I give up

I’m not stong enough

Hands of mercy won’t you cover me

Lord right now I’m asking you to be

Strong enough

Strong enough

For the both of us

 

Well, maybe

Maybe that’s the point

To reach the point of giving up

 

Cause when I’m finally

Finally at rock bottom

Well, that’s when I start looking up

And reaching out

 

I know I’m not strong enough to be

Everything that I’m supposed to be

I give up

I’m not stong enough

Hands of mercy won’t you cover me

Lord right now I’m asking you to be

Strong enough

Strong enough

 

Cause I’m broken

Down to nothing

But I’m still holding on to the one thing

You are God

and you are strong

When I am weak

 

I can do all things

Through Christ who gives me strength

And I don’t have to be

Strong enough

Strong enough

 

I can do all things

Through Christ who gives me strength

And I don’t have to be

Strong enough

Strong enough

 

Oh, yeah

 

I know I’m not strong enough to be

Everything that I’m supposed to be

I give up

I’m not stong enough

Hands of mercy won’t you cover me

Lord right now I’m asking you to be

Strong enough

Strong enough

Strong enough

Who decides?

Image

My youngest daughter, Abrielle, recently celebrated her 14th birthday. To celebrate, my husband and I took her to see a movie she has been wanting to see… Beautiful Creatures.

It was an amazing movie! I highly recommend seeing it if you haven’t already. It is a story about a young girl’s “coming of age” and her battle with becoming good or evil. (I won’t spoil the ending by telling you which prevails.) The young girl is a Castor, in layman’s terms a witch. Now, being a Baptist in the Southern Bible Belt, I realize that many people are automatically turned against this type of movie due to the fact that it is about witches but I am not your conventional Baptist. I enjoyed the movie and the message it gives.

I will end this post with a quote from the movie…

“God created all things, didn’t He? It’s only man who decides what’s a mistake.”