Perfect and Complete

The truth of God’s great love for me was not the only truth that I found while dealing with Ugly. After working for a while on my list of the physical attributes that I liked about myself, I started getting comfortable with it. Then my counselor started meddling again. (Please understand that I say that with the greatest respect.) She gave me a new assignment, to list the specific ways that God was showing His great love for me. So I began to list them in my journal.

Here’s a part of that list:

  • I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Of course this is first on the list, since I had been writing it daily for weeks and weeks.)
  • I am a new creation.
  • I am a person worthy to be liked.
  • I am loved by God and very special to Him.
  • He guides me.
  • He protects me.
  • He shows me His ways.
  • I receive His Grace and Mercy every day.
  • He made me unique.

Now, let me clarify something about writing these lists. When I am writing one, it usually takes me about a week, and I cry a LOT! I never knew that a person could cry so much. When someone like me, who was sexually traumatized but then stuffed it away for forty years, starts feeling and healing — well, the emotions just come and come and come.

God started sharing a truth with me through two verses.  Colossians 2:10 says, “[A]nd in Him you have been made complete” and Philippians 1:6 continues, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (NAS).  It was not by my looks that I was made complete, nor by what others thought about me, but it was Christ Himself Who completes me. I am not ugly because Christ made me, and He made me complete.

God also promised me that the work He had started in me will one day be perfected. As I looked at these verses again, I realized that it was not just any work but a good work that He wants to complete in me. So I began to write these two precious Scriptural promises in my journal every day. I believed that God was using what had happened to me in the past; the mistakes I had made; the struggles with Dumb, Stupid, and Ugly; my unforgiveness of others; the fears and phobias I was facing; and my deep, deep depression to complete the good work He was doing in my life. Someday I would be perfect! Oh, what a blessed thought.

Do you need to see that TRUTH today? Do you need to know that God is able to work through all the horrible times in your life, through the hurts, the pain, the loneliness, the loss of hope, or the fear of what you have experienced? Then cling with me to those precious promises. We must believe and live knowing that one day we will be made complete and whole. We may feel like damaged goods at times, but God uses our damaged vessels and He will make us complete because He loves us so much. Oh, how I long for it even now.

Complete. Whole. New.

I believe. Will you?

Blessings – Lisa

SHOWDOWN WITH STUPID

Stupid had frozen my life and I was tired of it!! I was tired of feeling like a failure and the depression that had taken over my life.

So I went to counseling. My counselor asked me to start writing down the evidence that I am not stupid. But I could not think of a single thing – literally not one single thing – that I could do to prove that I was not stupid. I burst into tears instead. I really believed that I was stupid. I wept and I hugged Stupid tightly against me. He was not going to go away gently. He was not going away without a battle.

With my counselor’s encouragement and guidance, I started naming some of the everyday things that I can do. Yes, I can clean house. Yes, I can cook. She asked me, “What are your strengths?” and I realized that I do have some strengths. I can budget, and I can organize. I had homeschooled all three of my children. So I finally began to write. I cried and I wrote and I cried and I wrote. Eventually I had a whole page of written evidence that indeed I am not stupid.

The time came for me to say those four simple words, “I am not stupid.” Releasing the death grip that I had on myself, I was able to say with conviction, “I AM NOT STUPID!”

Writing this today has again brought tears to my eyes. How long had I lived believing that I couldn’t measure up to the rest of the world! But, even though I had rebuked Stupid, he continued to harass me and to sneak up on me when I least expected it. To protect myself from him, I found an index card and wrote myself a reminder that I am not stupid. I still have that card. At first, I had to carry it with me everywhere, at all times, but now it lives on my kitchen counter.

God gave me this verse for my index card:  “The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee,” Isaiah 26:3 (NAS). Until I overcame Stupid finally and completely, every day I had to tell God that I was going to trust Him with my mind and my intellect so that I could have perfect peace. I refused to allow the enemy to take away that peace of mind.

Oh, friend, is there a Stupid in your life who wants to take away your perfect peace and cause you sorrow? Cry out to God and trust that He Himself can keep your mind in perfect peace. Call out to Him today. Do not delay.

Blessings – Lisa

Then There Was Stupid

Just as Dumb had attacked my emotional well-being, Stupid used similar tactics to assault my intellectual self-confidence. Dumb, Stupid, and Ugly worked closely with one another against me.

I have always loved games – playing cards or anything that has to do with words or numbers. And I was smart in school, a good student. I made good grades and was consistently at the top of my class, though I did struggle with Physical Education. (Can you hear my husband laughing?) I enjoyed school. There were some classes that were more challenging than others, of course, but, without fail, learning has brought me great joy throughout my life.

But somehow Stupid always tripped me up. As I look back now to my high-school days, I can see it so clearly. Regardless of my academic success, I would sabotage myself or otherwise defeat myself. I never even tried to pursue awards or scholarships that would have helped me continue my education beyond high school. I was in the top 10% of my graduating class at a large high school in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but I felt stupid.

I had no plans or goals for college. Stupid froze any ambition I might have had. I did attend a commuter college for a year and took summer classes at a junior college, but then I fell in love and got married and never again pursued formal education. My husband encouraged me to take some classes, but I always made some sort of excuse.

As the years progressed, my sense of stupidness increased, especially when so many of my adult friends had college degrees and worked outside the home. Being a stay-at-home mom allowed me to dispel Stupid for a while, but he reemerged when my children were older and I began to spend more time among adults. I had not watched much television or really kept up with world events and popular culture, so I found that often I did not know what my friends were talking about. I started feeling extremely stupid again.

When I started going to counseling, fighting that ugly trio, Stupid would bombard me just as Dumb had done. I found myself rehearsing in my mind how stupid I was. “Why don’t I know this or that? Why don’t I know the words to that song? Why don’t I watch the news and know what’s going on? Why do I even associate with these people with their college degrees and important jobs?” I had to yell at Stupid to make him leave me alone. I felt like such a failure, and I was so depressed that it became a chore for me even to get up and go anywhere.

Somehow Stupid had to be eradicated from my life so I could have peace of mind. I felt as if I were going crazy. Next week I will share the showdown with Stupid, but, until then, don’t let a Stupid take control of your mind. Get help. Do not live your life believing a lie.

Blessings – Lisa