Friday, August 27, 2010

Have Some Negative Encouragment On Me

I'm torn between sharing too much and maintaining a no-I'm-not-perfect-just-like-you honesty. Between this post and a teaching I heard by author/speaker Emerson Eggerichs, I feel challenged to reconsider how much I edit my life on this blog (which is quite a bit sometimes). Eggerichs mentioned how people assume that everyone else is getting along fine and they are the only ones with problems. But sharing vulnerabilities gives us hope and acts as "negative encouragement." In other words, it encourages others when they know everyone around them ain't perfect.

So here's my disclaimer: I don't want this blog to be a place of negativity and ranting. I do want it to be a place of encouragement and often times (a lot of times actually) it is encouraging to know that other people struggle with the same things you do. 

So that's that and here we go.

I checked the mail Sunday and low-and-behold, my copy of Radical had arrived. I got nervous/excited chills reading the sub-headline: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. In addition, plans were in the works to start the Daniel Diet/Fast on Tuesday (more on that later.) So - a book arrives Sunday that is bound to alter the way I view my life and I'm starting an "alright-God-you-have-my-attention-fast" on Tuesday. Guess what happens on Monday? You got it: Complete. Meltdown.

I have battled clinical depression for a good chunk of my life and I've had some incredibly dark days. I am also fairly skeptical about "Satan is attacking me" stories. But hooo-boy was Monday night a doozey! I'm not kidding y'all - it has been a long time since I was attacked with such intense, dark emotions - mentally, spiritually and even physically. Devin and I had just finished a chapter in Crazy Love and I became overwhelmed to the point of trembling with thoughts of hopelessness, of not being and never being good enough for God, for my husband or for my children-that-I-don't-even-have-yet. I felt a severe sense of self-loathing, which unfortunately spewed all over my dear husband.

I tried to sleep in order to escape the constant outpouring of these negative thoughts. Sleep wouldn't come. Nor would prayers beyond, "God help me!" Which, incidentally, is a difficult prayer to even consider while you're being swarmed by thoughts of worthlessness.

My husband was a trooper through all of this. Even though my anger at myself was coming out as anger towards him, he coxed me into talking and held me until I finally cried myself to sleep. It was awful. I was awful. I'm embarrassed even remembering it.

Since that night, things have stabilized emotionally, but I have to maintain honestly here and say that this episode really freaked me out. I have never experienced such dark opposition when trying to turn my life over to God's guidance. It makes me wonder what guns will roll out when I actually start particpating in the Radical Read-Along or when I actually start doing some of the things I've been reading about.

It's scary to me. But it also makes me think, "Wow. There must be major potential for some awesome things coming up in my life. Satan does not want me to read this book or make this change." I don't know if that makes it easier to handle (not yet at least) but it does offer me comfort that I am right smack-dab-in-the-middle of God's refining fires. It's hot and uncomfortable and I just want to run away and hide sometimes. But I know, I know in my heart, that if I let those fires refine me, I will come out of this time of learning/changing/growing stronger and more ready to live for God.

Q4U-  Anyone else faced some intense spiritual/emotional/mental attacks when preparing to do something for God?


  1. We've been doing this Luke 12:33 yard sale this past week. I also read the first chapter of Radical Wednesday night and yesterday and today have been completely awful for me. I am complaining non-stop, opposing everything Stewart says or suggests, and just being a complete jerk/brat/witch, etc... Perhaps this is my spiritual/emotional/mental attack. I definitely need to be in prayer more, that's for sure.

  2. You poor, sweet girl. I am soooo sorry you've had to go through this. But I think you're on the COMPLETELY right track. DO NOT let Satan scare you into backing off of following HARD after Christ. GOD has you in his hands, and the devil CANNOT get you. Oh, he can kick and claw and lie and taunt, but you are GOD'S and you are SAFE. And as scary as it seems to be living God's will for your life, NOT living it is even scarier.

    I'll be praying for you!! Please pray for me too! Love you!

  3. I know its an old one and I don't read your blog consistently, but wow. Guess I needed the negative encouragement today. I have been dealing with depression, I hate to admit it because on the surface I love my life and am happy, but inside I am constantly struggling and am thinking I might have to go back on meds, I always feel worse when I try to get closer to God. And for a long time it worked, I just left God alone and satan left me alone. Then I decide God can't be ignored, and my husband and I start weekly meetings with my pastor and his wife, and generally my emotions are worse day of and day after. Stopped going to church a long time ago because of depression. And I could share more, but in short you're not alone, other people do understand. I found Psalm 13 and have put it on my wall to remind me that even on my darkest days my relationship with God allows me to cry out and demand He answer, as David did.


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