Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Devil Within

Sorry that I didn't get my post in on Monday this week for any of you regulars, but honestly I didn't think that I was even going to bother. I don't know about you but it has been one of those weeks/months/years for me when you just feel like giving up and not caring anymore. I have been struggling. There I said it! You don't know how good it feels to say that and how hard it was to type those four little words.

When you are in ministry it's hard to admit that you have problems and that you struggle because people expect you to be perfect and they judge you when you are not. It's like they believe that because you serve God that magically you don't have any troubles or problems or issues and if you are then you really don't have a real relationship with God like you claim. It's just not true.

Men and women in ministry struggle just like everyone else--somtimes more because we often are forced to hide our struggles or face the judgement of our Christian peers. So I feel like what I am going to share with you this week is a really big deal, and I pray that you will not judge me. I hope that God will use my struggles to help someone else who feels like they are as helpless as I have been feeling of late.

Today marks the twelve week point of my renewed healthy lifestyle journey, which includes diet and exercise. I have been using the Bodybugg and it's program to help gauge the work I am doing to eat right and be healthy. Being healthy is a struggle, and so is having a healthy body image. As an added little bonus I want to share with you an awesome clip of Mandisa on The Today Show as she talks about self-esteem, body image, and her Freedom CD.

Although I still struggle with my body image, lately my struggles have been different. I call it "the devil within". The thoughts and struggles and emotions I have been feeling have all been negative. I haven't been happy or excited. I don't feel worthy. You name it and if it's negative then I have probably been thinking it.

Last night as I talked with my husband and this morning as I watched the Mandisa clip I began to realize a couple of things. There are probably two big things that are contributing to "the devil within" that I have been dealing with: #1 I have felt like God isn't listening to me or caring about me and #2 I grew up with important female figures in my life who were always negative about themselves. Together these two things have developed and re-enforced patterns of negativity in my life. Now I have to fight against them every single day and more often than not I lose.

However, I am encouraged that there are people in my life who are always there to encourage me and build me up--even when I can't see anything good inside myself. I pray that with time I will feel closer to God than ever before and that the love and support of the people in my life will begin to counter act the negativity of my childhood influences.

If you struggle with negativity toward yourself, you are not alone. God loves you and there are others in your life who love you too. Join me in fighting a daily battle to change our negative mindsets. It won't happen overnight and trust me it won't be easy but all things are possible through Christ (Phil. 4:13)!

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2 comments:

  1. Love your honesty, girlie! I'm with you and praying for you because I've been there and was there till today. I had my devotions and felt a bit better but it is a struggle. I'm glad your husband is there with you. It's always good to have someone who'll encourage us. You know, we're actually going through a study in our group on the same issue you mentioned. Funny how people can live in different areas but go through the same thing. Obviously God is right when he says there is no temptation that is unknown to man. I will tell you my own struggle here because I'm too chicken to write it on my blog. It's that I'm still single which I never realized. Infact just this week, a friend of mine informed that she's shocked I'm still single because (to her) I'm tall, pretty, and don't struggle with my weight. She actually thinks it's me :( and stated that our other friend (who struggles with her weight) is only single cos once she's slimmer, she'll get married. These words truly hurt, and like you, I often think that God doesn't care. I mean I've been called as far as gay because I don't have a bf. These things truly bother me and after this, I believe I should write this on my blog. Maybe another girl will be encouraged like you've just done right now. Thanks again Christiana! and I'm praying for us both and whoever is struggling with similar or different issues. God didn't promise us an easy life because we are His children. And whoever thinks like that is also struggling in their own lives. Wow, this is my longest comment on your blog! Funny how when we start being true, miracles happen. We don't always have to be perfect. Well, love you, girlie!!

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  2. Sophie, Thanks for the encouragement. I'm sorry for the hardships that you have experienced in your own struggles with being single. Thank you for your prayers for me and I will be praying for you as well. I think that maybe you should write a blog about what you are dealing with because it will help you to feel better and because I know that there are a lot of women out there who are struggling with being single too.

    Grace and peace,
    Christiana

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