I feel like a broken record when I say this, but here it is again.
This transition has been nothing less than difficult. With transitions comes inevitable change – friendships, environment, and seasons of life (long-distance and applying for grad school). Though I knew this year was going to be hard for me in many ways, I knew it was also going to be a good one too. I knew that God was going to challenge me, grow me, and strengthen me as I rediscovered what it meant to place my identity in Him instead of other things like man’s recognition, man’s praise, man’s words, titles, responsibilities, academics, image, and so much more. All those things have been so prevalent in my life from when I was a freshman in high school to a senior in college. Coming back home, all of that has been stripped away. I knew that though, but no matter how much I tried to prepare myself for it, I knew it was going to be one heck of a ride.
There was something freeing in not having anymore responsibilities and titles placed on me. It felt like a weight was lifted from my chest, but at the same time, it’s scary. For something that I once identified with and held so dear to my heart, it was hard to be stripped from all of that – like a part of me disappeared, like I didn’t really know who I was anymore. And that’s where the journey begins…where God revealed to me these newfound discoveries about myself as I was tempted and overcome by the evil one, but redeemed by His abundant grace.
For a week or so now I guess you could say I felt a lot of spiritual warfare. I recently found out that the way that satan attacks me is through my thoughts. All he has to do is place one thought in my head, and though I try to fight against him and to remind myself of God’s truths, it’s hard. I eventually let my insecurities and fears take over my thoughts, and then I would speak and act out on fear and a plethora of other emotions. What doesn’t help is that my emotions go everywhere and so whatever I say and however I say it gets twisted and muddled because I can’t even verbalize what I’m thinking nor do I know what’s going on because I can’t think straight. In those moments, I was fearful and insecure and in a weak state of mind. I got so tired of fighting that my body just kind of gave in, and as each day went by, it felt like I was getting weaker as he was getting stronger – like he was creating the illusion that God wasn’t there to help me. Kinda scary, huh?
But as I’ve taken a lot of time to reflect and process through everything, God turned and redeemed all of my brokenness and sinfulness into something beautiful. After the first incident, someone told me to spend time with God – which granted, I had already stopped because I didn’t feel like He was doing much – so I did. She told me not to just splurge out everything to Him but to ask Him to reveal my heart to me. Why was I feeling the way I was? Where was all of this coming from? What’s the root of the issue? As I prayed, worshiped, and stared at my computer for a while, I decided to blog. My mind felt clearer, my emotions subsided, and everything started to make sense.
I found myself tapping into a lot of past hurt from my experiences growing up, and it was really difficult for me to look back at something that I had pushed aside for so long. It was paining, really, to delve into it and to discover how intricately connected my past was to my present and how it was only now that I was experiencing the repercussions of those experiences. Every fight, every issue, and every conversation now had a sense of clarity. In the midst of flared emotions and raised voices it was hard to process and to take a step back to breathe and to pinpoint what exactly it was that was going on.
Though, yes, a lot of my emotions stemmed from my past experiences, I’m learning that it is still incredibly difficult to control my emotions so I don’t act too rashly on them. I’m learning that even though I said I was trying to get better at it, I still fail greatly many times after. I’m learning that satan uses our slip-ups to his advantage to twist the truth by twisting the situation and our thoughts. I’m learning that even though he does that…it’s always okay in the end. Why? Because I have seen over and over and over again God’s faithfulness and sovereignty as He sheds light into what seems to be complete darkness. And though I was tempted, though I fell short, though I succumbed to my emotions and the lies…God redeemed me. He took all of that and showed me something greater – His constant goodness and His abundant grace. Even though I know my brokenness and my sinfulness and my shortcomings and everything that makes me ugly, God sees something beautiful. He sees His child. He sees so much potential in my growth in becoming more like Him. He sees what we don’t see when we’re blinded by the truth-stained lies that satan planted in our head. He knows where we’ve gone astray and the best part of it all? He knows how to get us back and to bring beauty and light into the darkness of our lives.
Though it was tough, God revealed a lot about myself that I didn’t understand clearly before, and I feel like I can equip myself better because of it. I know now that my identity has never fully been placed in Him before, and I’m on the road to understanding what that means and what that looks like. I know now that my emotions are not reliable and are often twisted by the lies, insecurities, and fears in my head. I know now that satan loves to use disagreements, arguments, and struggles as opportunities to attack and do damage on relationships with people and with God. I know now how to fight back. Though there will be times when I feel weak, He is strong. Though there will be times where I feel lost and helpless, He is my guide and helper. Though there will be times where I feel misunderstood, He knows my heart. Though there will be times where I feel ugly, He sees me as beautiful.
It’s been a crazy 2 months, and though the aftermath of this storm is still riding out its waves, I know God will heal the wounds that I’ve inflicted on myself and on other people over time. He is our gracious redeemer who brings peace and comfort to all, and with Him, I am victorious.
Thank you, God, for revealing yourself to me and for this faithful discovery.