When God breaks you, He binds you and builds you but at times we break ourselves and we end up with shattered pieces and a messed up heart.
Open-heart confession; the last one and a half months have been tough on me 😭. I found myself in a space full of new levels that triggered bouts of anxieties and ended up in self-doubt. It’s funny how we always pray for growth but when it comes with its challenges, we want to shrink back to the comfort zone we are so used to. We are tempted to plunge right in and tackle them on our own strength forgetting that we didn’t get to that level by our own effort but purely through God’s grace and favors. We forget that if God called us to that space then surely and certainly will He provide the grace to walk the path. That’s exactly what happened to this girl child; she forgot who her daddy was and that was the beginning of her meltdown.
For a couple of months I had been praying for a new level and God, being my ever awesome loving Father, opened doors and I found myself progressing. I was elated to say the least and above all I was in awe of God’s doing. Just before I settled, I started having lil doubts about it and a million questions ran through my mind. Would I handle that role? How would I manage the responsibilities? Was I capable? It got to a point I started comparing myself to others, what if I couldn’t match up to my predecessors? Would people judge me by their standards? Would they expect me to act and be like them?
I managed to successfully work myself into a frenzy and had to ask a close confidante of mine to talk some sense in my head, which she did by reminding me of our favourite verse Philippians 4:6-8 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The verse managed to calm me down into perspective; I stepped up my game and delved head in to the responsibilities. For a while, things ran smoothly, the challenges were exhilarating, I was settling into the new role, things were running smoothly; it felt like everything was under control. But there was one teeny weeny problem, I was running on my own steam, handling things on my own and eventually, it started showing. I was getting snappy at the slightest provocation, I was so engrossed I gradually began missing my weekly fellowships, I was getting home too tired to have my evening reflections and waking up so drowsy to have my personal morning devotions.
On the outside it looked like everything was falling in place but on the inside, things were slowly falling apart. I started growing weary of pouring out to people who were too happy only with receiving, I started becoming too aggressive and rubbing people off wrongly and the key highlight was I started noticing flaws in people I interacted with. I could easily pick out 100 wrongs and struggle to find three rights, a trait that was completely unlike me.
Slowly by slowly the cracks started appearing on the outside and I did what I once used to do best, pull myself away from crowds. I retreated into a corner, held a pity party for myself and begun recalling my past. I relieved memories of people who I held in high esteem but at my lowest point, they were nowhere in sight. I remembered the past failures that once crippled me and I started blaming myself for those wrongs. I became bitter; bitter with myself, bitter with my family and friends who had let me down.
All this was happening in my head, no one knew the battles I was grappling with internally but I walked around with a chip on my shoulders, carrying grudges with people who had no clue why I was pushing them away. It got to a point I didn’t want to pick my phone calls outside work, I struggled with my prayers and devotions, my cup had literally run dry and I was badly hurting and bruised.
Anxiety and depression isn’t always shutting yourself in a room and crying yourself to sleep, at times it masks itself in the most normal things. Like struggling to wake up every day, struggling to make your bed, tidy your room, do the things you’re used to, struggling to communicate with your loved ones, struggling to stay still and keep your mind at ease.
The danger about isolation is that you fight it alone and you are already not best placed to think critically so you end up believing the lies in your head. You judge others so harshly at their mistakes, mistakes that only exist in your mind and even if they were true events, you’ve magnified the whole story and blown it out of proportion. You end up beating yourself up and drowning in your own condemnations. The more you try talk yourself out of it, the deeper the hole you dig yourself into until it gets to a point you believe you possibly can’t come out of that darkness.
Most holes we dig ourselves into, only Christ can reach down and pull us out from.
Some situations we bury ourselves in, only God can bring us back to life. He is the only one who can bear the burden of our self pity and the shattered pieces of our brokenness. He is the only one who can’t be fooled by the masks and facades we struggle to show the world. He is the only one who sees the hurt in our eyes and hears our hearts breaking. Like dead Lazarus wrapped up in linen and buried in the tombstone, Jesus is the only one who sees beyond our stench of rottenness and is willing to walk right in the mess, when everyone had given up, and call us back to life.
I needed to go to back to the King:
Take me to the King by Tamela Mann
I don’t have much to bring,
My heart is torn in pieces,
It’s my offering,
Take me to the King.
Truth is I’m tired,
Options are few,
I’m trying to pray,
But where are you?
I’m all churched out,
Hurt and abused,
I can’t fake,
What’s left to do?
Truth is I’m weak,
No strength to fight,
No tears to cry,
Even if I tried,
But still my soul,
Refuses to die,
One touch-will change-my life.
Take me to the King,
I don’t have much to bring,
My heart’s torn into pieces,
It’s my offering.
Lay me at the throne,
Leave me there alone,
To gaze upon your glory,
And sing to you this song,
Please take me to the King.
Truth is it’s time,
To stop playing these games,
We need a word,
For the people’s pain.
So Lord speak right now,
Let it fall like rain,
We’re chasing after you.
No rules, no religion,
I’ve made my decision,
To run to You,
The Healer that I need,…
Lord we’re in the way,
We keep making mistakes,
The glory’s not for us,
It’s all for You!
And when I couldn’t take myself to the King, He came down to my pit and picked me out of it. He gently wiped off my grime and dirt, He cleaned me up, nursed and oiled my wounds and made sure I was standing again. Not on my feet, but on His shoulders. I think we both agreed that on my own I couldn’t do it. It was fighting a losing battle. I was wiser now. I wasn’t going to rush into anything without His consent and His approval.
Like Moses, I had a new stand; “Now if indeed I have found favor in Your sight, please let me know Your ways, that I may know You and find favor in Your sight. Remember that I am your daughter. If Your presence does not go with me, please do not lead me from here. For how then can it be known I have found favor in Your sight, unless You go with me? How will anyone know that you are pleased with me unless you go with me? (Exodus 33:14-16)
It’s not a “Get out of the mud and get back running on the track” kinda situation, it’s a slow progress of Him reassuring me that despite my flaws, He still loves me unconditionally.
It’s a journey of working on my pride and teaching me to surrender the throne of my heart once more back to Him.
It’s a process of Him unearthing all the wounds and past hurts I had buried deep in my heart, things I thought I had overcome but sadly I was still holding onto grief, hidden wounds, battling with unforgiveness, holding secret grudges.
We have a long way to go but walking with Christ makes every step worthwhile. Am ready for Him to break me up again and mold me into the vessel He desires. Am done doing things on my own. Biggest lesson am learning; If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 1st Corinthians 10:12. I thought I had mastered my walk of faith enough to walk it alone but my pride, my lies and I, all three of us, lol, came tumbling down faster than we could say humpty dumpty.
At times we break ourselves up but God reassures that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. Indeed He is our Counselor, our Comforter, our Keeper, He offers hope when our hearts have hopelessly lost our way and He gives the healing and grace our hearts always hunger for.
Sending warm thoughts and prayers to everyone out there struggling with battles we can’t see. Don’t give up the fight, God is greater than whatever we face here in this world, and He fights for us still today!