What do you think of when you think of God? Think about Hagar. When she was kicked out by Sarah, to fend for herself and her son, she called God, El Roi, The God who Sees. He saw her distress, and he provided for her and her son. Who is God to you? Ponder this as you read “El Roi”.
In case you missed our last podcast episode, you can catch that one here:
Podcast Episode 21: Approval Addiction Outline:
Dissecting Approval Addiction
My Issues with Perfectionism
Moses’ Issues with People-Pleasing
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.
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.
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:
“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. 2 Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her home, 3 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”), 4 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”). 5 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.
6 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,” 7 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. 8 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. 9 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.
So, how do we start the recovery process from approval addiction?
We remind ourselves that our identity is in Christ.
We speak to our soul and tell it, “God loves you!”
Remind ourselves that Jesus was despised and rejected so he can identify with our pain.
Christ is enough, and we are enough in Christ.
Rest in God.
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!
Episode 18: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:16:37
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Episode 17: No excuses! Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:12:53
Are you tired of making excuses for everything that you did or didn’t do? How about hearing excuses from your kids when they didn’t follow through with their chores, or something you specifically told them to get done? In the beginning, it doesn’t seem so bad, but after a while, like anything else, excuses can get played out. Even with God.
Like the Israelites, we find ourselves in a vicious cycle. We end up begging God for mercy. saying that we’ll do better, and then going right back to continue the same sin over again. We end up cheapening grace until God steps in and causes a wake-up call! Listen to the podcast for this week to find out what happened to me when I ran out of excuses. Last week’s podcast episode can be found here.
No Excuses Podcast Outline
Background on No Excuses
Example of No Excuses in the bible
No Excuses Podcast scripture:
Jonah 3-4 King James Version (KJV)
3 And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
4 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?
5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.
6 And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.
9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:
11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?King James Version (KJV)
Welcome to the Valley of Grace Healing our Brokenness Podcast. And this morning, we are recording episode number 17 No Excuses.
excuses for everything. We secretly wish
that we could do things as well as other people. For some of these things, we have the
resources and materials to do them. We
won’t put them on our calendars. And
when we do, we keep putting them off until the next day. I’ll get to it tomorrow. I’ll get to it on the weekend. The weekend turns into next week, then next
month, then next year, and then 5 years later we are still wishing that we could’ve
developed our skills in certain areas. We
trade our desires for time scrolling social media excessively or having Netflix
or cable tv marathons.
another one: As soon as the kids are in
kindergarten, I will practice better self-care.
Instead of doing this, we become even more worn down from playdate
overload. Then, once the kids get into
middle school, I will get involved in small groups instead of isolating myself. Instead of getting connected, we become even
more isolated because we are running kids around 5 days a week for
extracurricular activities. A lot of
times our excuses is that we are tired.
And a lot of times this is the truth.
However, we miraculously find a way to get everything else done.
As soon as
football season is over, we’ll start eating together as a family, having family
night, and the list goes on and on. What
happens is that the older our kids get, the more intentionality has to take
place, but also, the harder it is to plan because of conflicting schedules,
part-time jobs, girlfriends and boyfriends, and their desire to do more with
their friends than with their parents.
know it, we look up, and that time is gone.
Our children are young adults, and we are unable to get that time back.
are going to look at one individual who made excuses in the bible. His name is Jonah. He was told to go to Nineveh to warn the
people of their sins and God’s judgment if they didn’t repent. Instead of going, he headed to Tarshish and God
had it where he was given a belly of the fish detour for disobeying his
command. Jonah felt justified in his
disobedience? Why? His excuse was that he knew that God would
forgive the people of Nineveh. Let’s
listen to the conversation that takes place between God and Jonah:
“And God saw
their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the
evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
4 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he
was very angry.
2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in
my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a
gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest
thee of the evil.
3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for
it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?
5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the
east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the
shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.
rather make excuses for disobedience to God’s instructions when we have our own
opinions of what God’s end decision will be.
When I was
at my last residence, it got to the point that I knew that I wasn’t receiving
the correct amount of child and maintenance support money. I didn’t want the stress of going back to
court. I didn’t want the additional
trauma either. However, I struggled,
playing the Robbing Peter to pay Paul game, trying to keep up with paying
utilities and rent, and scrambling to buy food.
As circumstances would have it, (God) I got backed into a corner where I
had to go to take him back to court as my kids and I were facing eviction.
lasted three painful years, and unfortunately, more lies than before erupted in
regard to income. Everything that he was
doing was projected on to me. Before
leaving the courtroom, I almost ended up unfairly with a humongous amount of
money to pay him. The whole scene was
one that was out of a crazy Lifetime movie, except it was my life.
When I got
home after court, the anger erupted, I said to myself, so basically three whole
years for this end result? Really!!!
Holy Spirit had already spoken to me several months before the last court date
and told me, “Even if you never see a penny of that money, it was never about
the money to begin with. It was about
accountability and God wanting you to fight for what was rightfully
God knew the
only way that I would stand up for myself was to force me into a series of
events that gave me no choice.
And so the question that I leave with you tonight as food for thought is this: What excuse are you making that could be keeping you straddling the fence of disobedience to God?
Thank you for listening to Healing our Brokenness and have a wonderful rest of your night!
Call to Action
If you are ready to stop making excuses when it comes to living in survival mode, and dysfunctional patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms, check out my new online Teachable course. Remember: Healing, growth, and maturity is not a drive-thru service, it’s something that can take a lifetime. However, what are our choices: revolving door of stagnancy or thriving and freedom. YOU DECIDE! Click here for more information!
When things are predictable, we feel safe, secure, and at ease. We are not God, and thus, the truth of the matter is that not everything in life will be predictable. However, when unpredictability becomes your norm, then it can be the perfect recipe for disaster. If you already have a history of PTSD or trauma, then after a round of unpredictability at its finest, you will be in line for more.
I was young, in my 20s, married, a full-time employee and a full-time student. And although I was very busy, and I did feel stress because of it, it wasn’t anything major. Out of the blue, everything changed. I went from doing all of the above to running to the emergency room and/or doctor’s office once or twice a week. Unpredictability rocked my world to put it mildly.
The symptoms started off with a racing heart. My ex-husband dropped me off in front of our apartment building one night so that I could get settled, and he could continue driving around to find a park. My heart started racing like crazy. I remember thinking to myself, “What is going on?” It finally stopped by the time that I got upstairs.
A couple of weeks after that, on my 24th birthday to be exact, I was standing in front of the copy machine at work when I started feeling excruciating chest pains. One of my coworkers rushed me to the ER in her car. They didn’t find anything.
However, after that, every few days there was a new symptom occurring: extremely high blood pressure, racing pulse, hammer-pounding headaches that made you long for heaven, diarrhea, an unsafe drop in weight, fibromyalgia,etc. It got to the point where my belts were no longer able to keep my pants up.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months as the physician ran every kind of blood test that he could think of. On one particular occasion, I was blow drying my hair, when all of a sudden, my heart and pulse starting racing as if it was going to beat out of my chest, and then my entire body started twitching. I finished blow drying my hair and headed to the ER. My mother, my ex-husband, and some other family members met me there.
As soon as my ex-husband saw me with my hair just blow dried and no curls, he stated, ” You couldn’t have done anything to your hair?” It was one of those moments when you stared in shock, cognitive dissonance sets in, and then you pretend like you didn’t hear what you just heard.
This vibrant twenty year-old, straight “A” student who was able to do it all suffered a time-out. I ended up having to drop two of my classes. The exhaustion and insomnia wouldn’t allow me to keep up.
Finally, during one particular visit to my physician, I gave in and told him that I was feeling depressed. He said that it was just the stress. My reply was, “Something is wrong with me.” He listed everything that he had done already, and then he said, ” How about we check your thyroid?”
In no time, I got the results. Bingo! I had hyperactive thyroid. Better known as Graves disease. I finally had an answer for this madness. I was happy and feeling blessed. However, that didn’t last long when I found out that it would take about four months before I would start feeling better.
I decided upon the “Radioactive Cocktail” as my method of treatment. A lady who worked in the nuclear medicine department gave me the best advice ever. She told me not to be surprised if my condition reverses because of medicine not being an “exact science”. It was the same thing that had happened to her.
At first, I was mad, and wondering why she would say something like this. However, I soon realized that it was the best advice ever because I was prepared. Just like she forewarned, my thyroid condition went normal, and then reversed to the other side, better known as hypothyroidism.
Four months later, I was back to my normal self so it seemed. However, the unpredictability of trips to the doctor and ER led me to develop compounded trauma. I already had childhood trauma under my belt. Then were was the trauma of being in a toxic relationship, a verbally abusive job, and my physical health was now added to that list.
If I had to look back at that twenty-four year old woman, I would tell her what I now know: “Breathe! Allow yourself to feel the feelings! When you don’t allow yourself to feel the feelings of overwhelm, your body will take it on. The stress has to go somewhere. Let it out! Nothing is worth your health. Community is everything. God is enough!”
Episode 16: The Comparison Trap Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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In case you missed our last podcast episode, The Sin of Complaining, you can find it here. Today’s podcast deals with the Comparison Trap. It is the issue that is ripping families, churches, and friendships apart. Yet, we still can’t seem to find a way to get out of it. Let’s explore the topic a little bit further to see how destructive it can be, and what solutions we can implement in order to get out of it.
If we are parents, we know that at some time or another we will have to face the time of our children going away to college, and/or moving out on their own. It is during this time that we will wonder if they will remember all the truths and wisdom they have been taught. Then, our second concern is whether they will implement these truths in their lives. In this post, I am breaking down eight truths that we can pass on to our college bound/young adult children.
God is our only constant. Your life is going to be filled with a ton of surprises. You will say hello to new classes and then goodbye to old classes. Friends will come and go. Some friends will be around forever, and then others will be there for a season. You will disappoint others, and others will disappoint you. You may have to move several times in your life after having gotten comfortable in the perfect location that God placed you in. The one constant that we have is our solid rock Jesus. He will be the stable foundation that is there when nothing and no one else is. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8, KJV)
God’s timing is best. You will make tons of plans. They will be picture perfect. You will have dotted all of your I’s and crossed all of your T’s. Your plans may not work out. God isn’t ready for it to happen yet. Either he is preparing other people to work along with you, or he is preparing you and your heart to work along with other people. Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
God will use the good and the bad, even when we don’t make the best choices. As Christians, we are sinners that are saved by the grace of God. And thus, even when we mess up, and we will because we are not perfect, God will use everything for his glory. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
God’s word will keep you on the straight and narrow. It will be tempting to skip out on reading God’s word. However, God’s word will hold you up in life when nothing else will. It never changes. It is living and active, and sharper than a two-edged sword. It is music and a minister of truth to our souls. It will give you direction when you are feeling lost. Psalm 119:105 Thy Word Is a Lamp Unto My Feet and Light Unto My Path.
God is enough. It will appear that everything else in this life will fill your empty, craving soul. You will think that if you only get this one thing that it will make you happy. You will find out that only God can. When you try to fill your soul with other people and other things, it will leave you feeling emptier and emptier until you fill yourself up with Christ, and then God will make everything else a bonus. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
God’s grace covers us, but we can’t avoid the consequences of our actions. Whether we are planting good seed or bad seed, fruit will be the end result of our actions. God doesn’t give us consequences because he hates us. He does it because he loves us and he knows what’s best for us. Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Everything that we have belongs to God, even our money. We may think that because we worked hard, it means that everything that we have is ours. We are only the managers. God is the owner of it all. He wants us to be good stewards over everything that we own. When we put God first, he blesses and honors that. The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; Psalms 24:1, NIV
Keep yourself grounded in the Body of Christ(church community). It will be tempting to isolate yourself when you are going through things. The body of Christ will be there to be the hands and feet of Jesus, along with helping to restore you back to him.
The last poem that I wrote was entitled “The Declaration”, and you can find that poem here.
God never makes a mistake with anything that he does. Just a few minutes ago, I was on Twitter doing some posting and scrolling, and I saw a post by Realistic Poetry. I decided to click on it and read it. They presented a challenge.
The challenge was to write a poem based upon two wooden figures leaning up against each other in a box. One figure has its arm slightly around the other figure. The first thought that came across my mind is whether or not I should enter the challenge. I’m glad that I did because God immediately gave me a poem.
The words that he gave me reminded me of how wonderful it is to be in the Body of Christ, doing life with believers who lift each other up, pray for each other, and bear one another’s burdens. Have a blessed Monday everyone!
The last poem that I wrote, The Advancer, can be found here. Today’s poem, Released, describes what happens when Christ gets a hold of our hearts. When we are open, he can heal us, and take us from a life of just surviving, to a fruitful life filled with thriving. God bless!
The Son of God
Straight through the heart
To the point
Where we Confess
That we’re tired
Of the Same, Old Mess
Of just coping and surviving
We’re done now
Let’s get to the thriving
He breaks down
The power of Sin
Come dwells within
He breaks down
All the walls of doubt
And His Name
Alone gives him clout
He breaks down
All power of sin
All God’s people
Can say Amen
Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
We have our plans, and then God has his. Three or four people can be doing the exact same thing, and two people may succeed, and the other two may not. Second option: The other two may have to wait for God to release. So, sometimes if you haven’t been released for success yet, it isn’t necessarily that you aren’t do everything right, it may not be your timing yet. God is the advancer, and we are not. Sometimes that realization is difficult to sink in. As individuals, it can be easy to get caught in this type of thinking. It becomes another way to stay stuck in the comparison trap. When we submit to his will, and do our part, he makes it plain. This poem, The Advancer, deals with this aspect in a nutshell. Last week’s poem, Why I Write, can be found here. God bless!