I want to start today with a story… a story of the day I stopped caring about emotional wellness or big dreams… or life in general.
Warning: This series on Emotional Wellness will be extremely personal and may challenge your beliefs about me, you, God, life in general… at least it has done that to me. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you)
Our story opens on a naive little girl.
Her long blond hair matted to her sweaty face from secretly exploring her brothers room. Her brown eyes wide in wonder at the stash of odd shiny things tucked into a cabinet in the wall.
In walks her brother -raging in anger that his privacy has been invaded. He is breathing threats as he repeats a familiar line. “Go ahead and tell mom, she’ll never believe you”.
And with a sigh of resignation she walks away -knowing he is right…
“No one ever believes me” she murmurs back. “I don’t matter” she reminds herself. “They don’t really love me” she believes inside her heart.
She walks away feeling defeated, unwanted, unbelievable, unlovable, hopeless… like so many other days in her life.
I grew up in a home filled with dysfunction (like so many in our culture).
My family was dealing with more issues than I can even label. They did the best they knew how and as an adult with my own family I have come to a place where I can forgive them and love them… though that took time and hard work between God and me.
I have an amazing relationship with my mom now.
I also love my brother and his precious family dearly. He was just a kid operating from a place of hurt. I forgave him long ago.
I have spent the last decade working through the false beliefs I had about life and Faith (Read that story here: Why I moved from Christian to Disciple). But I have struggled to deal with the Emotional things… because it’s harder -deeper- more painful.
I come from a place of Emotional Brokenness.
So why am I talking about this now?
arch our church invited an Energetic Speaker to our Women’s retreat. Sandy Gross from Renewing Me Ministries is a dynamic speaker with a mission to teaching Christians to live a Healthy, Whole, and Flourishing Life in Christ…
Honestly I only went to the retreat to be social.
I needed a mommy break from my little blessings… do you ever need those?
Anyway, when Sandy began Friday I was sure the message wasn’t for me.
- My relationship with God is fine.
- We are closer than we’ve ever been .
- He is working on somethings, but not my identity…
Saturday morning Sandy began transparently sharing her own story and I felt this weight settle on my chest.
God was beginning to whisper “Tiffany, pay attention this is for you”.
Sandy challenged us to face the reality of our identity crisis. A crisis I didn’t realize I was having.
I believe God’s word and all He says about Himself.
But I don’t believe what He says about me…
She actually wanted us to speak these false self identities out loud.
I couldn’t and it rocked my world. Isaiah 43 keeps playing over and over in my mind since that weekend.
Sandy has written a Bible study to help dig through this mixed up identity problem. I silently prayed our church would not ask me to lead it because I knew I needed to take it.
There is an “Inseparable link between emotional health and spiritual maturity”.
I didn’t want to pursue this Emotional Wellness thing.
It is hard.
I’d rather study about Ruth or Esther and gain Spiritual Knowledge.
But I felt God calling me to address these area’s where I am not agreeing with Him.
In obedience I will dig deeper.
So Welcome to the chaos that lives inside my mind…
I pray the next month encourages you to pursue Wellness together. I’m going to unpack what God’s been teaching me about Emotional Healing and Spiritual Wellness.
Be warned: This stuff has gotten deep in my head and maxed me out on the Anxiety chart. I have been a hot mess for months because of working through this stuff. Hence the post last month about How I deal with Anxiety!