I finally picked my study Living Above Worry and Stress back up and did Chapter 5: "Blessings In Disguise" this morning. Before we discuss it, I'm going to be transparent with you. Let's have a cup of coffee together and chat, shall we? I have some heart-baring to do, and I hope that getting it out helps me to cope, and that maybe, just maybe, someone out there who is going through the same thing will benefit from this. My only goal in writing these posts is to bring Glory to God through my words. So here we go.
I'm struggling. The insecurity that I battle so intensely just never seems to let up. I still love God with all of my heart, but I find myself questioning Him so much lately. This move, 325 miles away from those I hold dear, as I was just finding my way out of my shell and allowing myself to form relationships, has been REALLY hard on me. My marriage isn't perfect. We've had a few rounds lately, and once recently I was actually in the van, with my bags packed, headed home. His difficult work schedule has put a strain on our marriage. Not because we don't love one another, and not because we aren't both trying to meet one another's needs, but because 1. Satan is fighting for our souls and for our family, and 2. We weren't speaking one another's love language. I recently read the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and wish I had read it years ago. I learned that my love language is quality time, and PJ's is both words of affirmation and physical touch. I am not a touchy feely person unless I'm in the mood, so I haven't been TRYING to meet that need for him. I do make it a point to build him up with my words, but I'm also bad about unintentionally tearing him down with them, also. And, well, with mine being quality time, and PJ working so much, I have felt SEVERELY neglected by him. I've been feeling that his job is more important to him than I am. Don't worry, I can talk of all of this openly because we're both very aware of what's going on and are working together to change it.
Along with feeling neglected and having it affect my marriage, I have been dealing with severe depression. This is one of those things Satan uses to separate me from God. I'm fighting it head on with prayer and authority in Christ Jesus, but the battle is quite tiring. Along with the depression comes insecurity, doubt, and fear. I'm quite an introvert. I have self esteem issues that go deep, and make it difficult for me to reach out and make friends. Most of my attempts since moving to Florida have been met with inadvertent rejection, so I tend to withdraw a little more each time that happens. Because of feeling rejected, I've begun to build up walls again that took God years to bring down, and have hardened my heart to certain people in my life, both from my new life and my life before Florida. To top it off, my diabetes is also under attack since I've had to change my medications up and am trying to find the correct dose, in the process experiencing the roller coaster of highs and lows that comes with it. My sugar has kept me out of church for 2 weeks in a row now, and that just gives Satan more of an opening. It really IS important to get actively involved in a church. Not to prove status or worth, but to stay connected to other believers. We draw strength from fellowship with those who are fighting the same battles we are. Because of all of the uncertainty and doubt and depression, I have been missing my mother, who went to be with our Lord 3 years ago at the age of 53, intensely. I miss having her to talk to, to just have someone who would listen without trying to solve my problems and understood everything I was going through, because she had lived most of it. So, all that said, needless to say, I'm dealing with a lot of "baggage" right now. Because of the weariness from the battles I've been enduring, I lost my temper recently with a "friend" of my husband's (actually a co-worker from back home) and let my tongue flap like a flag blowing in March winds. I said things I KNEW I shouldn't say, and allowed the OLD Brooke to resurface. I knew then that I was slipping too quickly, and needed to get a grip on myself. I was still in the Word every night, but my prayer time has dwindled, and I have not been spending that time each day just praising God for being God. Will you pray for me?
Now, about this lesson on Blessings in Disguse: Yep, you guessed it. God used it to speak straight to my soul concerning all of the things I just spilled out to you. The major theme of this lesson was building a strong foundation. We know that if we build our foundations FIRMLY in Christ, our faith will withstand all of these attacks from the enemy. But if we build our foundations in our own knowledge and strength, it will eventually give way under the pressure of the storms that come at us. I was certainly convicted to spend some more time working on strengthening my foundations. What does your foundation look like? Is it built on the solid rock? Or is it on shifting sand?
12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.