Friday, March 31, 2017

Digging Deeper....Internal Perspective - Psalm 139

As strange as it may seem, at my advanced stage on this ride called life, I still find myself, more than ever, learning about others and myself.  Sometimes the "myself stuff" takes me by surprise.  Something that has been eating at me for a while  finally came together and made sense to me this week. I am still having a hard time wrapping my mind around it and how to process it in relationship to moving forward in life. Isn't it interesting how God will show you His truth when you are willing to believe it and wrap yourself in it?  God wants us in the right perspective to see....
 
I learned  (well, something I have known but not acted on for sometime,) that I have always taken emotional ownership of everything, much to my detriment. By doing this I didn't allow myself to fully develop and shine.  As long as I can remember I am someone who internalizes life.  What that basically means is that I integrate the  attitudes, values, standards and the opinions of others of me into my own  identity or sense of self.
 
On the surface I am sure we all do that to a certain degree, but I let it become a defining factor of who I see myself as.  If someone else saw me as bad, I was bad.  If someone else saw me as beautiful or good, I was beautiful or good.  I was always looking for that validation and I internalized it to the degree that it limited me to  only being able to see myself through the lenses of other's jaded glasses.  This weakness allowed me to stay in a marriage for many years that subtly defined my less than worthiness.  I took the behaviors and choices of my husband and let them tell me who I was. No matter what I did, by that standard (which had nothing to do with me,) I was left defined as less than worthy of being loved honestly, purely and faithfully.  No matter how much I twisted, turned, and molded myself,  I would never be able to undo the internalization I had developed by the repeated reminders and reinforcements of not being enough....because I took it to the deepest part of my heart.  I continued to love and give more and more of me away trying to out run this horrible self pain.  
 
Although, I am no where near perfect (trust me on that!) I have always believed it was me that was the problem.  But as time has passed, through events unrelated to me, God has shown me that it didn't matter what kind of wife I was;  how talented, how smart, how pretty, how "Mini-Martha Stewart," how skinny, how sexy, how available.... it would never have mattered because my then husband had the inability or no desire to control his choices.  But, it wasn't me.  Yes, I have heard that a million-gazillion times but I had internalized that ugly, negative, shameful, stupid, useless mantra so deeply, human words couldn't undo the damage.  When my ex-husband, of 26 years of marriage, became engaged and remarried within weeks after the divorce, I internalized it. To me it was confirmation that I was deficient, not enough....but I now see that wasn't true.  He wasn't enough. Every time he turned to someone else, he proved that, but I was so short sighted, I could only see what was wrong with me.
 
I also internalize my role as Mother.  My greatest desire in life has always been to be a great wife and mother so when anything external signals otherwise, whether it be someone else making a comment on my parenting style, my house keeping, or my child saying the often pin point painful things that children say...I soak it right into my core.  It would/could/can devastate me.  Realistically I know I am not perfect, but in the face of these interactions I find myself walking around seeing myself through (insert comment/action/attitude) and it pushes me to twist, turn and often literally break my heart to be what others want to see.  If  one of my children takes my personal inventory (which generally is not during a  positive moment ) I immediately feel an overwhelming sense of failure. shame and guilt, whether their words are true or not. It feels like I can't be a good mother, I feel like I want to disappear because I am more bad than good.  I (no one else) makes me feel like I am more damage to my children than anything else.

I  have felt an abnormal need to make others happy, meet their needs, take care of everything and make it all look beautiful and dream-like for them.  Don't' misunderstand, I don't regret, for one moment, being a totally devoted wife and mother I loved those two jobs and know they will always be where my calling was....but I could have done better by expecting better.    I never could see the value in who and what I brought to the table...until this week.  I am working on the steps to relearn these ingrained behaviors that I have let myself develop and let the enemy run amok with in my heart.  I know it won't be an overnight change, but I am taking a step.
 
This week someone posed a  hard question to me....What is your worth...your inherent God defined worth?  I had expressed how I had been praying earnestly for many days to see myself through God's eyes and all I had heard was silence....days and days of total silence.  I was again internalizing and devastated....my heart was breaking because all I could come up with in my simple mind was God doesn't see me. My heart screamed "This explains the last 3 years of your life."  It even explained why I am doing life alone. It explained why I can't seem to be Mother of the Year. Although seemingly unrelated, it explained why I haven't been able to get a handle on my finances and excel the way some in my life have spewed at me that I should have.  It explained everything....God doesn't see me.  He truly has abandoned me, He no longer looks upon me as His...I even questioned whether He ever did.
 
Then the loaded the cannon was exploded and blew my internal voice away when this person said, "God is silent because he doesn't need to reprove Himself to you.".....silence......from me.  What?
 
God's word has already defined who I am in clear, concise words....why was I making other people idols before Him? Why were those other words and deeds directing me more than God? I  was discounting God. 
 
No more, "Am I good?" No more, "What do other's think of me?" No more, "If I could just be good enough."  I am special because I was created by God.  I am truly special because Jesus saw something in me worth dying for.  My truth has already been defined....Here is how God sees me:
 
Psalm 139
1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (NIV)



10 comments:

  1. Well heck ... I coulda told you most of that.

    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bravo! What a break through. Praying for you Michelle. I am the same personality type as you and have learned to love myself over the years, it is a far better place to be. Such is the love of Our Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  3. (((Michelle))) Love you girl.... I wish I could love you perfectly but only God can do that. Sometimes the hardest thing is to forgive ourselves. You are more than enough.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Becky Hunter........Wow....read and Reread......mercy...YES>>>>>
    It is NO small thing that JESUS loves you Michelle.....and
    that HE always has....and NOTHING you do changes that love....
    MERCY>....Thank you for your honesty and your heart SEEKING
    HIM......mercy....Amazing......well done sister......we love you and
    JESUS wants us to marinate in HIS love for us.....bathe in HIS enjoyment of us.....

    HE SO enjoys you lady....YOU.....MICHELLE, you are ROYALTY....YOU are
    HIS DAUGHTER....Happy APRIL PRINCESS


    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent post my sweet, beautiful, worthy friend! It spoke so much to my heart and soul. Every word in the first 5 paragraphs is me. Is your email still the same? I would like to talk with you more off the blog. I'm so glad you are back to not only blogging but actually writing! I have missed it so much. You are so eloquent in you writing and I ALWAYS get something out of these pieces. I hope as you continue to conquer this issue, you will continue to not only write but expound on this very topic as it is something I, and I'm sure many others, struggle with daily. ������

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have had to re-read this several times. Your revelation is an answer to prayer. I have prayed often that you would see yourself through God's eyes, confident that He has held you in the palm of His hand. Do you follow Proverbs 31 ministries? Here is a link to a devotion that speaks to your struggle: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/you-are-more-precious-than-diamonds/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh. my. Land. I'm sitting back just trying to catch my breath, and exhale. What a powerful...powerful post. I think I'm so proud of you that I could pop. Baby steps are really giant steps. You are so very precious. I hope one day, very very soon, you see how incredibly gifted you are. I think God has some pretty awesome plans for you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just came across your blog. Excellent! You know, there just might be a book in you based upon your blogs. Similar life stories. God wastes nothing, even the pain. In fact He redeems it.

    Keep on pressing on my friend!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by...leave a little of your sparkle before you go!