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)!