My journey to recovery began with my failure. Let me explain. I was abused, hurt, betrayed and confused for the majority of my childhood. I was also angry, lost and scared. I felt alone. I had many questions and yearned for direction. Without the support of others I came up with my own survival plan which included solving my own problems and easing my own pain. My plan involved beating up on myself, blaming myself and hating myself. I had it so wrong though. My plan didn’t work. I didn’t feel better and experienced more pain. My plan didn’t work because I simply could not move forward beating myself up, hurting myself and not believing in myself. I stood in my own way.
Exhausted and all out of options, I reached the end of myself – and so I looked up to God, cried out in my prayers and asked God to heal me and lead me to a better life and He did. My recovery began with me believing that God can do what I could not do – no matter how hard I tried. Each step of faith I take is because I believe that God does His best work in those that humbly admit they need him. I don’t know about you – but I need God because I can’t recover alone.
Today I trust God. I trust God to provide for me, heal me and give me strength and joy. This new plan doesn’t leave me idle. My job is to believe in God, to trust Him and to stop beating up on myself. I also have daily responsibilities like taking care of myself, mentally and physically, working, studying, attending classes, taking care of my children and even having a little fun!
But the single most IMPORTANT thing I do above anything else is to TRUST AND BELIEVE IN GOD’S LOVE, GRACE AND MERCY to get me through each day. Even though this may seem simple it is not easy and it takes a tremendous amount of focus especially when circumstances don’t look promising. But I continue to trust Him day after day. When I get down on myself and life – I tell myself the following things to keep me going and to keep trusting in God day after day – one step at a time:
- He has blessed me in so many ways before. I am not saying that God had to prove anything to me. But I can honestly admit that it was difficult for me to trust in a God that I did not personally know. But once I got to know Him and I brought my problems to Him I begin to see that he had performed miracles in my life all along. I count my blessings and recall the times he saved me from my own mess. I know that he doesn’t just want to solve my problems but that He wants a relationship with me, He wants to be with me, spend quality time with me and He wants me to believe in Him and trust Him. After all, what is a relationship without trust.
- I have witnessed miracles in the lives of others. I know that if God did it for others then He can do it for me. I know that his love and healing is for all of His children that believe and trust in Him. He loves all of us no matter what we have done. There is no one bad enough that God won’t help.
- I believe he rescued, transformed and healed people in the Bible. I love bible stories. Each person has their own testimony. I can relate to many of the people in the new and old testament. I believe that God has not changed. If He did it before He can do it again.
- He is strong enough. I believe that if God is strong enough to create the universe than He is strong enough to break my chains of fear, insecurity, grief, sadness, pain, low self esteem, poverty, isolation, loneliness, hopelessness, self doubt and anger. God is able to do anything.
- He exists. I believe that God is not dead. He is alive. He is with me. He loves me and He is paying attention to me and my prayers.
- He loves me. My entire life hinges on the belief that God loves me and He won’t give up on me. I don’t think there is anything I can do that will make God stop loving me. The bible says he won’t disown me even if I do some heinous act. I am not scared that God will stop loving me.
- God is not like people. God is not like my mother, step father, grandmother, friends, ex husband, boss, pastor or children. He is above all of them in character, integrity and honor. He is perfect, JUST, fair, kind, loving, compassionate and He truly listens and cares – ALL THE TIME. I can count on God all the time. He is not like me. I am my worst enemy. But God is for me. He is dependable and is like a steady rock. He is not manipulative and he doesn’t play games. He is not tricking me. He is not sarcastic, arrogant, demeaning and out to play mind games. He is honest and cannot lie. That is why I trust Him. I can trust Him. I will trust Him. If I can trust others, which I do every day, then I know I can trust God with my life, my heart, my dreams, my health and my daily problems.
- He is my father. I am a parent and I know without a doubt that I am a good parent and that I love my children. But I am flawed. I make mistakes. I yell. I rush. Sometimes I don’t listen. And I parent with fear at times. God is not like any parent I know. He is awesome. He is the perfect parent. Parents provide, love, protect and guide. God does all that and more for me. He wants to be my father and I want to be his child. He adopted me into His family.
- His plan is better than my plan – God cannot fail. His plan for my life is flawless. His plan is better than my plan and His plan is meant to bless me and not hurt me. When he made me – he had a plan. I trust God because I know He has a plan for my life.
- I want to. Trusting God is my choice. It is what I want to do. No one is making me trust God. I can stop anytime I want to. God is not forcing me to trust Him. This is extremely important to me because I was manipulated and forced to do things I didn’t want to do as a child. I didn’t have power or control over my own life. Now I do. I have the power to do what I want to do because I want to do it. And trusting God is what I want to do. This is my life, my time, my heart and these are my beliefs. And I choose to take everything I have inside of my heart and soul and trust God with it.
Sometimes I do trust my own plan or listen to others. Or I look at my past. I look around at my life and I think there is no way out. Things seem hopeless and I get down. I look at my own abilities and I compare my strength against my problems and I shake my head knowing there is no way I can win. But when I get like this I stop and think: I don’t want to give up – I want to move forward – I want to be healthy, I want to reach my goals, I yearn for joy, peace and love. And I remember although I can’t – HE CAN. HE CAN. HE CAN. It is not over for me. No matter what situation I face – God can give me the strength to make it through. His grace and mercy are more than enough to not only get me through but bring me out better than I was before. But I must bring Him into it. I can’t exclude God. With God I can win. I can thrive. I want God in my life. I want his presence. I want his love. I choose his Love. I need Him.
Don’t ever give up.