Refusal to Heal

healing, refusal to heal, brokenness, sin, emotional health, ptsd, trauma, mental health, priorities, course, road, katina horton, author, poet, poetry, blogger

Background on Refusal to Heal

This poem reflects the struggle that lies within all of us when it comes to healing.  We all have the potential.  However, healing involves doing.  Which path will we choose?

healing, refusal to heal, brokenness, sin, emotional health, ptsd, trauma, mental health, priorities, course, road, katina horton, author, poet, poetry, blogger
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“Time to heal. Time to heal.

Though it may not be a thrill.”

 

No, I’ll stay busy.

I will avoid.

I won’t get help.

My soul’s annoyed.

 

It’s your decision.

There is no force.

Whatever you choose,

You’ve set your course.

 

Just as a reminder,

There is no win.

When you know good to do,

And ignore it,

Then it becomes sin.

 

 

 

 

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.  James 4: 17

 

Other poems:

Opening the Trust Door

Disappointments

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Episode 21: Approval Addiction

valley of grace, healing our brokenness, podcast, katina horton, podcaster, healing, brokenness, trauma, trials, ptsd

Episode 21: Approval Addiction
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In case you missed our last podcast episode, you can catch that one here:

Podcast Episode 21: Approval Addiction Outline:

 

  • Dissecting Approval Addiction
  • Analyzing People-Pleasing
  • Perfectionism’s Trap
  • My Issues with Perfectionism
  • Moses’ Issues with People-Pleasing
  • Solutions
  • Podcast Transcript

 

approval addiction, podcaster, podcast, katina horton, mental health, spiritual health, physical health, energizer bunny, psychology, author, writer, poet, blogger, blogs, people-pleasing, perfectionism, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, valley of grace blog, episode 21, season 2

Approval Addiction

Good afternoon!  Welcome to Episode 21:  Healing Our Brokenness.  Today’s Episode is entitled, “Approval Addiction”.

  • Dissecting Approval Addiction

Perfectionism and People pleasing are more acceptable words to say.  It sounds better and makes us feel better than to tell someone that we suffer from approval addiction.  Saying the words approval addiction makes us want to cringe.  However, the deeper issue of these two sins is the need for approval.  When it comes to the brokenness that occurs in our lives, either we tend to follow in the footsteps that this emotion caused, or we will do the exact opposite.  People pleasing and perfectionism stem from rejection.  If we are rejected, then the natural thing to do is to 1) disappear, or become invisible, or 2) to make sure that someone sees me.

  • Analyzing People-Pleasing

First of all, we will examine the sin of people pleasing.  When it comes to people pleasing, we are focusing on doing the things that people want us to do.  If it gets to the extreme, where we are so trying to keep everybody happy, that we have literally lost our own sense of self in the process, that’s when we get to the point of waking up one day, and then asking ourselves,  “Okay, what do I want?”

I have done everything that everyone else wanted me to do.  How do I live outside of this? For example, If there are 50 people in a room, and we took a survey to see how all fifty of these people thought that we should style our hair, we could possibly have anywhere between 20 to 50 answers.  What if we decided to follow their advice, we’d be going around just like the energizer bunny, worn out, and a tired, hot mess.  They would be happy, but we wouldn’t be because we have decided to forego being true to ourselves.  We have lost a sense of what we value and hold true to ourselves.

  • Perfectionism’s Trap

The next sin that we will examine is that of perfectionism.  I was abandoned by my dad at age 11.  I felt rejected.  Since my mom and dad were no longer together, and we were total opposites, and I had to have some kind of conclusion to come to in a child’s mind, then I felt rejected by her.  Thirdly, I had a situation where I stood outside of the Baptist church that I grew up in, and one teenager said to another, “Her mother is so beautiful.  I wonder what happened to her.”

To a teenage girl, this is devastating.  Mix it in with the fact that I already had double issues of rejection from my parents, as well as physical insecurities.  It rocked my world.  I internalized what was said.  And then, I was setup on the course for dating and then marrying my ex-husband, who had his only brokenness of being controlling, manipulative, emotionally abusive, serial cheating, and the list goes on.  I endured a 20-year marriage of this.  And the question is, since I had grounds for divorce, why did I stay so long?

  • My Issues with Perfectionism

The above two reasons that I mentioned:  extreme insecurities about my appearance and the three-part rejection issue.  He was able to keep me in his back pocket so long because of my low-self worth.  And, unfortunately, in my brokenness, I allowed it.  It wasn’t until about three years ago that I got to the root of my perfectionism/approval addiction issues.

God was gracious and merciful at the time.  Secondly, he showed me how it played out.  I was the rule follower.  The “good girl” in grammar school and high school.  Katina didn’t get into trouble.  My perfection played out in winning spelling bees, high grades in school, and performing in oratorical contests.  I loved doing all these things.  However, there was also recognition for doing all these things.  Instead of choosing to become invisible, I chose to be seen.

Because of my ex-husband’s brokenness, he pretended like all I had to do was a few things and we would get back to the way that things were.  What I didn’t know in the beginning is that I could do 50 things, or 1000 things, and the relationship was never going back to the beginning.  I had been love-bombed, gaslight, devalued, and being groomed for discard unfortunately.

Perfectionism went from one area of my life to every area as I tried to fix him and give structure and control an out-of-control person.  Who was I fooling?  There was a two-way street going.  I was on a mission to the fixing what he needed, and I took the devil’s bait of getting my self-worth from him instead of God.  We will never be filled by another individual in an area that only God can fill.   And if you are dealing with someone with his type of brokenness, they will just keep adding to the list, making you think, “if only you do this”.  Trust me, it will never happen.

  • Moses’ Issues with People-Pleasing

Moses had the same setup from the Israelites.  He led the

people out of Egypt as God had told him, but then all of the

needy people were coming to him for everything. 

Here is the scripture taken from Exodus 18: 

Jethro’s Advice

“18 Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her home, along with her two sons. The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been a sojourner[a] in a foreign land”), and the name of the other, Eliezer[b] (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”). Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God. 

And when he sent word to Moses, “I,[c] your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her,” Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.

10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.”[d] 12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.

13 The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; 

16 when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.”17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good.18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. 

19 Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 

22 And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”

24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.26 And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.”

What happened to Moses is kind of like having your children say, “Mom”.  You answer and then it turns into fifty more times.  And to be honest, by then you are aggravated, and ready to run away or ring someone’s neck.  It gets played out real fast.  However, like in my relationship, Moses had his rejection issues from birth, and then his life in Egypt that were never resolved.  He got caught in people pleasing/approval addiction.  He could help the people in their neediness, and they could help provide him with the approval that he craved that should have been filled by God.

What happens?  We get tired after a while.  Emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological exhaustion takes place on both sides.  Codependency sets in, like in me and Moses’ situation.  Bottom Line:  We can’t give people what they need.

 

God is telling us like he told Martha, “Come, sit at my feet.  Rest in me.  Fill your soul with spirit-filled activities.  People are never going to be enough.”  He is a jealous God.  And he is jealous of our people worship.

He keeps telling us: “Come unto me all ye that labor, and I will give you rest.”

 

When we choose people pleasing and perfectionism over God, then we choose to settle for broken pieces of shame, other people’s expectations, rejection, unworthiness, and unacceptance.

  • Solutions

So, how do we start the recovery process from approval addiction?

 

  1. We remind ourselves that our identity is in Christ.
  2. We speak to our soul and tell it, “God loves you!”
  3. Remind ourselves that Jesus was despised and rejected so he can identify with our pain.
  4. Christ is enough, and we are enough in Christ.
  5. Rest in God.
  6. We tell ourselves the follow statement:

“We are all broken, and so when we look to others for approval, we are getting approval from everyone else’s broken lens.”-Katina Horton

Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness: Episode 21: Approval Addiction.  I hope that you have been able to have some takeaways to add to your healing.  God bless!

Disappointments

We will disappointment others, and others will disappointment us.  Whatever the case may be, disappointments can take us on a whirlwind of emotions, processing, and more emotions, and processing.  It can leave us in a cave of events, and shame if we continue ruminating over each thing that happened, instead of processing the events for healing purposes.

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Unmet expectations.

Can take you round and round.

The disappointment.

Shame’s strangulation.

Will pull you to the ground.

Hope is an anchor,

Gives you grounding.

When your world seems to fall.

And Christ, Our Savior,

With his shield of Favor,

Will help us when we call.

 

Episode 20: Just a Little White Lie

just a little white lie, lying, truth, author, blog, blogger, emotional health, healing our brokenness, hereditary, katina horton, mental health, podcast, podcasting, PTSD, self-inflicted, valley of grace blog

Episode 20: Just a Little White Lie
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If you missed the last episode, you can grab it here. Today’s episode deals with something that we have all found ourselves doing. Click and take a listen!

Episode 20: Just a Little White Lie Podcast Outline

  • What are we lying about?
  • Two Stories of Biblical Lying
  • Podcast Transcript
just a little white lie, lying, truth, author, blog, blogger, emotional health, healing our brokenness, hereditary, katina horton, mental health, podcast, podcasting, PTSD, self-inflicted, valley of grace blog
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Hello!

Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness.  Today I am featuring “Episode 20: Just A Little White Lie”.  Lying is something that we have all done.  When we lie, and someone calls us out on it, our response is usually, “Oh it’s just a little white lie.  Everybody lies.” 

So, what are some of the things that we are lying about?  Sometimes when we lie, it is to spare hurting someone’s feelings.  Other times we lie to make ourselves look good, or as if we “have it altogether”, when we don’t.  When we enter the church doors on Sunday morning, and we are greeting other Sisters and Brothers in Christ, and they ask about our status, we are afraid to tell them “Okay” or “Not too Good at the Present moment”, or “I’m going through trials at the present moment, but I know that God is good.”  Forbid if we get real.  No, we have to say, “Really Good” or “Good”.  Or better yet, “ Fine.”

The last one was one of my favorites until I saw how jacked up that made me feel afterwards.  If I was not fine at the time, and I tried to outwardly act like I was happy go lucky, my emotional and mental state knew that something wasn’t matching up.  It would actually cause me to experience the trauma symptom of having dysregulated emotions and depression.  Go figure.  

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A few months after I started noticing that was happening, I read a psychology article stating that it makes your emotions harder to control when you do this.  Not that we should wallow in self-pity or anything, but when you think about it, we are one way, and trying to signal our emotions and body to do a quick 360 degree turnaround and be okay.  The answer is “No” to that one.

r emotions and body to do a quick 360 degree turnaround and be okay.  The answer is “No” to that one.

What else are we lying about?

We lie about our jobs, the kind of cars that we drive, our marital status, and whether we were at home when someone tried to reach us.

When we’re at work, and the ladies or men are in a huddle talking about their kids and their extracurricular activities, material possessions, or their socioeconomic statuses, we lie about ours.

When we are in our church small groups, we lie about our woundedness for fear that everybody else will have lighter sins and issues than us.  We don’t want to look “too broken”.  We have to look as close to Jesus “perfect” as possible.  When we lie and head to the perfection side of things, we actually cause someone else to miss their opportunity to know that they are not alone.  Not only that, we quench the Holy Spirit , and miss out on our blessing.

No matter where we are, we find ourselves lying about our intentions to others.  We come to them, telling them one thing.  However, our agenda is another.  In a lot of cases, the person that we are lying to is totally unaware of what is going on.  One thing about being actively in the pursuit of lying, there is always someone who witnesses what’s going on.  And if there isn’t what the other person doesn’t know, God knows.  And such is the situation that occurred with David.

David was on the run from Saul.  He was without food and weaponry.  He went to Ahimelek the priest and lied to him about his intentions. 

David at Nob

21 David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”

David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”

But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”

David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.

David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.”

The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.”

David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

David made the assumption that lying to Ahimelek would prevent Ahimelek from getting in the crossfire of Saul’s hunt for David’s life.  What David didn’t anticipate was the fact that Saul’s right-hand man, Doeg, the Edomite, would be hanging around Nob, witnessing the whole transaction that occurred between him and Ahimelek.  Therefore, Doeg was going to give Saul the report according to his perception of what he saw. 

David underestimated the demonic forces that he was dealing with.  If Saul was willing to kill his own son, what would he do to someone who wasn’t? So, what ended up happening?  Just as we are thinking, Doeg tricked on David.  Basically, he said something like this, “Saul, guess who I saw over in Nob, getting Ahimelek’s blessing?”

Here is the scripture of how it played out: 

Saul Kills the Priests of Nob

Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul was seated, spear in hand, under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing at his side. He said to them, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today.”

But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul’s officials, said, “I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelek son of Ahitub at Nob. 10 Ahimelek inquired of the Lord for him; he also gave him provisions and the swordof Goliath the Philistine.”

11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelek son of Ahitub and all the men of his family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.”

“Yes, my lord,” he answered.

13 Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?”

14 Ahimelek answered the king, “Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household? 15 Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father’s family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair.”

16 But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelek, you and your whole family.”

17 Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me.”

But the king’s officials were unwilling to raise a hand to strike the priests of the Lord.

18 The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.”So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 He also put to the swordNob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep.

20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. 21 He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. 23 Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.”

 David’s lying caused Ahimilek, and all of his household, except for one, and all the other priests of Nob to be killed. 

Stewardship Lying

The last thing that I want to talk about are the lies we tell about our stewardship.  When we find out others are giving more money than we are, we tend to lie about how much we are giving.  When it comes to lying about stewardship, we are lying to God, not men.

If we were able to, we would go back in time and ask Ananias and Sapphira about this.  The Christians over in the book of Acts were on fire after being filled with the Holy Ghost.  They operated on “one accord” at the time.  If there were any brethren in need, they would sell their additional land, and then offer it up to the disciples.  No one was without.  Ananias and Sapphira sold some of their land. Their desire was to keep back of the money for themselves.  They could have expressed this to the disciples, but they didn’t.  Selling your land was an act of the heart and will.  It wasn’t a force situation.

The thing is, they wanted to appear super generous like everyone else.  Unfortunately, their lies caught up with them, and then cost both of them their lives:

Ananias and Sapphira

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

And so, the question that I will leave you with is this, “What “little white lie” are we telling that could heap disastrous results?

Thank you for listening to another episode of Healing Our Brokenness.

Episode 19: Anxiety!

ptsd, self-inflicted, hereditary, anxiety, mental health, emotional health, blog, podcast, podcasting, author, blogger, valley of grace blog, healing our brokenness, katina horton,

Episode 19: Anxiety!
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Anxiety is something that we will all face in life. The causes of anxiety and the solutions for dealing with this common problem will vary from person to person. Listen in to Episode 19 as I discuss this topic.

ptsd, self-inflicted, hereditary, anxiety, mental health, emotional health, blog, podcast, podcasting, author, blogger, valley of grace blog, healing our brokenness, katina horton,
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Episode 19: Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • Normal Anxiety
  • Clinical Anxiety
  • Trying to be Sovereign Anxiety
  • Self-Inflicted Anxiety
  • Trauma-Induced
  • David on Anxiety
  • Solutions for Anxiety

Good morning!  Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness podcast.  Today, you are listening to Episode 19: Anxiety! 

Introduction

Picture this scene:  I was in 7th grade, and at the time, I enjoyed competing in oratorical contests for fun.  However, because my mother was a single parent, and had to work, she was never able to come to see me compete.  I should have been grateful that she was working.  However, I got caught up on her being there.  She finally decided to come.  However, she forgot to forewarn me.  I was on the stage, and she waved to show me that she was there, and my mind went blank after the first two lines.  I could hear my words trembling, and feel my whole body shaking intensely.  She hadn’t done anything wrong, but my lack of preparedness for her coming totally threw me for a loop.

Normal Anxiety

When we hear the word anxiety, all kinds of thoughts come to mind.  Anxiety is normal in certain cases.  For example, recently I was waiting for the test results from a mammogram, and as I was listening to the person on the phone, I became anxious as I proposed what her words would be and how I would react to them.  Anxiety can sneak upon us as we get ready to take a quiz, and it can cause us to forget everything that we were going to say. 

Hereditary Anxiety

Anxiety can be debilitating.  This type can often be hereditary and would fall under the column of anxiety disorder.  That means that if our grandparents and parents have suffered from anxiety disorder, then it is a high chance that we could be dealing with the same issue.  When we suffer from this kind of anxiety, it is something that we had no control over. 

Trying to be Sovereign Anxiety

There is, however, another kind of anxiety that I am going to discuss.  This type of anxiety is from the things that we place on ourselves.  Examples of this is trying to fix problems that we don’t have control over.  We try to control our adult children and the mistakes that they make in their lives. There is a desire to control whether or not people will accept or reject our uniqueness. 

We try to control whether the job that we have had for over 15 years will be the job that we retire from. Do you control the discipline that God gives to a family or friend in regard to their sin, and in the process, we began to enable the individual?  When we try so hard to control, it only makes us more out of control.  This eagerness to control creates an addiction within itself.  This is what the devil doesn’t tell us.  We don’t know until it’s too late.

Self-Inflicted Anxiety

Another type of anxiety that we place on ourselves is that of making changes for the sake of coming out of vicious cycles.  For example:  Stacy notices that she has an anxiety attack every morning in regard to getting out the door and getting to work.  Reasoning:  Every morning Stacy stays in bed until 30 minutes before it’s time to leave to go to work.  She has to rush to put makeup on, get her breakfast, and pack her lunch.  Stacy knows what is behind this problem, but she fails to make the changes.  Stacy is self-sabotaging.

Scheduling is another type of self-inflicted anxiety.  This is the area that I am guilty of, and starting to make progress in.  We pile as much as we can into a given day.  The more things we keep adding to that list, the more things will be added to our list of anxiety about.  The first thing that we don’t consider is exactly how long it will take to get each thing done.  There are only so many hours in the day. 

If we work outside the home, those hours are shortened.  Unless we are God, there is no way that we can get all those things done, but we try.  Sometimes it is possible to get those things done, but we have used this time up on social media, or doing a little bit too much relaxing, only to start the vicious cycle all about again.

Trauma-Induced Anxiety

The last type of anxiety that I would like to discuss is that of trauma-induced anxiety.  Unfortunately, this kind is one that I am very familiar with.  One kind of trauma anxiety is created from having to be in hypervigilant mode all the time.  The other part of trauma anxiety that I have noticed for myself is that I might have a flashback or a trigger of something. 

Then, what happens is that my mind may start to think about the details and feelings that this event caused.  I push the thought away, thinking that maybe it is unimportant, only to realize later when it resurfaces, and continues to occupy my emotional and mental space, that it is something that I need to deal with.  However, since trauma wants to be in control, it will cause you to start self-protecting, and then rationalizing why you shouldn’t talk about this thing. 

You think you’ve somehow outsmarted trauma, but it outsmarts you because when this event keeps coming up, it usually causes anxiety to go from 0 to 1000 in your body, while the flashbacks are occurring, and what you don’t realize is that avoidance of discussion of this event is keeping the physical energy in your body, and delaying the healing at the same time. 

I learned this the hard way when I tried avoiding talking about seeing my father abuse my mother in our apartment as a kid.  I kept delaying and delaying, scratching off on my therapy notes, and saying, “Nope, not this week!”  Weeks turned into months, and then finally when I couldn’t take it any longer and started feeling the impulse of swinging and punching at its peak, I did the best thing that I could do.  I talked about it with my therapist.  It got worse before it got better.

Now, when those feelings come up, I pretend like I am kickboxing in order to release the energy from my body.  Before discussing this event with my therapist, I would zone into worship music to calm the impulses.  What I didn’t realize is that the energy needs to leave your body.

We ask God to help us with all kinds of things.  However, we forget to ask him to help us with anxiety, and to get to the root.  In Psalms 139 David reminds us about how God knows everything.  We can’t hide anything from him.  His presence follows us.

Psalm 139 Amplified Bible (AMP)

God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

139 O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do];
You understand my thought from afar.

You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken],
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

You have enclosed me behind and before,
And [You have] placed Your hand upon me.

Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high [above me], I cannot reach it.


Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will take hold of me.
11 
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me,
And the night will be the only light around me,”
12 
Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You,
But the night shines as bright as the day;
Darkness and light are alike to You.

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13 
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.
14 
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.
16 
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].

17 
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 
If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

19 
[a]O that You would kill the wicked, O God;
Go away from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
20 
For they speak against You wickedly,
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 
Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 
I hate them with perfect and utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.

23 
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

What are some helpful ways to reduce anxiety?

  • Taking a deep breath in and out
  • Meditating on worship music
  • Prayer
  • Exercise
  • Therapy
  • Sometimes medicine, along with everything lifted above.

I pray that you have heard something here today that has been helpful.

God bless!

For last podcast episode, click here.

Behind the Bars

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Behind the Bars is a poem that is written to show the inner struggle that we have when it comes to walking in the freedom that Christ has given us with his sacrificial death on the cross. Blessings!

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Behind the Bars

My Savior,

Oh, on Calvary.

You broke the chains.

Then set me free.

Will I walk?

Or will I stay?

Behind the bars,

That will decay.

I pray for you.

To set me free.

Did I forget?

About that tree?

The work is done.

I can walk out.

The guard unlocked

The keyhole’s spout.

My Savior,

Oh, on Calvary.

You broke the chains.

Then set me free.

Other poetry:

Separated

Stuck

Separated

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When we think of separation, it brings up pain and sadness. However, when we are separated for the cause of Christ, it changes everything. For to live is Christ, and to die is gain. We have the Father’s love to guide us as we run our race of endurance.

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Photo by Sarah Pflug

Separated

I’ve been separated.

It’s been delegated.

For the cause of Christ.

It requires my life.

For I lay it down.

Not for world renown.

It’s been set in stone.

No, I’m not alone.

Blessings,

Katina

Related post:

Who Can Separate Us?

Little Whispers: Song in My Heart

Episode 18: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos

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Episode 18: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos
Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...

 
 
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There are a lot of voices that we hear on a daily basis. However, discerning the voice of God becomes the most important one that we need to focus on. Do we know what to look for? Is it the same voice for everyone? These questions and more will be answered in this week’s episode: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos.

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  • Podcast Outline
  • How to Know It’s God
  • How God Speaks to Me
  • Truths on Hearing God’s Voice
  • Samuel and the Voice of God

Part #1 Hearing God’s Voice

Podcast Transcript:

Good afternoon!  Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness Podcast!  Today we are on episode 18, entitled, Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos.  When we think about hearing God, we often associate it with the Ten Commandments movie where God spoke to Moses on the mountain.  Sometimes God is just that powerful.  However, often hearing God can come in the small, subtle, or least grand ways than we expect. 

So, the question that you all are probably asking is, “Well, if it is small, how will I know?”

We do three things: 

  • We slow down enough to hear him.  If we aren’t slowed down enough, we won’t hear God, or gain clarity on anything else that is going on. 
  • We pray and ask God to help us to become discerning in regard to noticing his voice.
  • WE look for God to speak to us in themes or patterns.  This can be via sermons at church, small groups and bible studies, therapy, or via inner circle advice.

Part #2 Hearing God’s Voice

I have realized for myself that God speaks to me through my work.  Since I read and listen to a lot of blogs, articles, podcasts, and sermons, God will have them to center around a certain theme for me to understand that it is something that I need to work on. 

Sometimes he speaks to me in dreams to prepare me.  I have heard others say that God doesn’t speak to other people in dreams as in biblical times.  I beg to differ.  God knows each and everyone of us by name, the number of the strands of hair that is on our heads, and the names of all the stars.  I believe that God will use whatever means necessary for us to know that it is him. 

A few years ago, after going through a horrific divorce, I longed to see my dad who I hadn’t been in contact with for a while.  I searched for him, and unfortunately, came to a dead end.  About two weeks later, I had a dream that I was with him on the bus in Chicago, and he was wearing the leather jacket that he often wore when I was a kid.  I looked down at his shoes and pants, and I realized that he had the appearance of not keeping himself up.  So, in the dream, I pondered over asking him if he was homeless, but I was afraid to ask.  I woke up, wondering what this all meant.  Less than a week later, my dad got on the bus that a family friend was driving, and he was able to connect with my aunt who brought him to my house. 

The sight of him nearly made me fall to the ground.  He had indeed hit hard times and was homeless for a period of nine months.  God has given me a lot of situations like this to speak to me.

In several other instances, I thought that it was me being strong-willed/lazy in regard to something that someone else wanted me to do with them.  I am not a strong-willed person.  However, I am human, and a sinner.  And like all of us broken individuals, there are things that we know that we should do, but don’t feel like doing, and we fuss and go on and do it.  I thought this was the case in about three situations, then I realized my whole will had changed because God was trying to tell me that it is something that I shouldn’t be doing. 

It took a while to see the pattern.  They weren’t bad things.  They were things that I had already dealt with in my healing.  There was literally a pulling in my chest, and a feeling in my spirit that said, “No!  This is not for you.”  I was surprised because one time I had planned to write a certain devotion, and I felt God’s Spirit telling me, “No!”.  I decided to write on a different topic that night: Handpicked by God.  As I was riding in the car the following morning, I received confirmation that I made the right choice by getting a 3-minute clip on a Bible Teacher’s message.  It coincided with the new devotion.  The words that came out of her mouth were almost verbatim to what I had said in my devotion.  I choked up with tears.  What I thought was simplicity was God exemplifying that he is a God of order.

God can also have us to sense things in our spirit that something is wrong when we talk to people.  Their emotions and psychological dysfunctions can enter our emotional, psychological, and spiritual space.  Sometimes it takes a while to figure this out.  We are usually able to detect this in patterns after a while. 

A few months ago, I had the feeling that my confidence had been stripped away.  This was due to the trauma and the cycle of shame that revolved around it.  Even if there were things that I knew how to do, I would get afraid of not being able to do them.  This is indeed a problem with trauma, where you can forget how to do certain things temporarily at any point and time.  However, it isn’t often that it happens.  And I realized just recently, that Satan was using this fact to create low confidence in everything that I did.  Right around the time that revelation hit, I had three different instances of God speaking to me in regard to this confidence. 

The first one included a conversation with someone that I met who was able to discern this.  The second conversation was from someone wishing me a happy birthday, and then stating that 2019 would be the year of confidence for me.  The third time was reading a book, and having a specific chapter speak on self-confidence, the importance of it, and how to lean into God’s love to get it.  For some reason, I had never thought about praying for confidence. 

Here are some Truths that we can meditate on when it comes to Hearing from God in the Midst of Chaos

  • Being too busy will miss out on hearing God’s voice.
  • If we are limited to our way, we will miss out on hearing God’s voice.
  • The failure to act in obedience in the small window of time that God gives us in emergency situations may hinder us from hearing God’s voice.
  • When we fail to act on God’s instructions to share what he has placed in our heart with someone else, we miss the opportunity to bless someone.
  • When we fail to act on God’s instructions to share what he has placed in our heart with someone else, we also miss the opportunity of bringing possible correction or rebuke to that person on an issue that God was already trying to show them.

Part #3 Hearing God’s Voice

Samuel learned to identify God’s voice.  And unfortunately, he had some sad news to give to Eli, who had neglected his duties as the person in charge of the temple in 1 Samuel 3:

And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.

In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.

For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.

And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.

Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.

And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.

And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.

And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.

And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.

I have had situations where I felt God speaking to me about sharing with someone in regard to my own person struggles.  However, I allowed my own shame, and the worry about other peoples’ perception of me get in the way of obedience.  There have been other times that I was more afraid of ugly face crying and losing control in the process of vulnerability rather than the obedience itself.  I had to speak truth to myself about this.  It is sin.  I am calling it what it is.  When we know to do good, and we don’t do it, it is flat out sin.  I hope that you have enjoyed our episode of Hearing from God in the midst of Chaos.  God bless, and until next time.

Related Post:

Hearing God

Hearing God

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Background on Hearing God

This poem is meant to uplift your hearts when you are crying out and hoping to hear from God with a word of assurance. Be blessed!

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Hearing God

We will hear him.

Just be still.

He will guide us.

Father’s will.

May be big.

May be small.

No mistaking

When he calls.

Holy Spirit

Is our Helper.

Thank you God

For “Intercessor”.

Other Related poetry

Little Whispers: Songs in My Heart

Comfort of Worship

Bible Verses to Meditate On:

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was [so], when Elijah heard [it], that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, [there came] a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Psalm 32:8-9

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3

Trust

katina horton, poet, author, podcaster, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, grace, trust, emotional health, mental health, spiritual health

It’s hard to trust. It doesn’t matter whether it is in marriages, friendships, or in our relationship with God. The difference about our trust in God is that he will never let us down. Either our answer will be something that is or isn’t in his will. He is our constant!

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Trust

Trust

In Him.

Not On

A Whim.

His Promises

Are Real.

Not Just

What

You Feel.

Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Related Poetry

I’m in Control: The Struggle Between Two Wills

Trials