Putting on the Armor of God

I believe our tragedies are our shackles until we grieve, and then they can become our armor. It’s so important to grieve our losses after tragedy – grieve who we thought we had, who we thought we could trust, who betrayed us, what was taken from us, and what was done to us… but especially grieve who we once were. When we work through the stages of grief, we come to a place of acceptance. Grieving allows God to manifest His power in our brokenness! The pain isn’t gone, but it’s not tying us down or holding us back… and that is when it can be used as armor! Armor to protect others and love people even more than before!

Today, I choose again to not allow the tragedies in my life to stop me from being all that God created me for. My armor is to protect me from the blows of the enemy, but I remain soft and tender underneath! I will not harden my heart to the world. I will continue to love people and give mercy and give chances. I will listen to my intuition and I will trust the Holy Spirit unctions God has given me. I will stand firm on God’s Word. ♥

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:10-20

Lies Exposed

I was just informed tonight that my sister J lied to me about my mom.  Here I’ve thought for the last 16 years that my mother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive compulsive tendencies, when the truth is that the doctors said that she had suffered depression for so long that it transformed into psychosis and attributed part of it to her thyroid disease that went untreated for so many years.

I was 15 years old when J told me this… she had wanted me to go to the hospital with her that night.  She wanted me to help them sign her in involuntarily. I was 15… I wanted to be with my boyfriend instead.  Maybe what I did was selfish, maybe it was normal for a 15 year old… but she told me this lie.  Why?  To make me feel bad?  To show me I should have been there to do it?  I don’t know her reason!  Why in the hell?

To make matters worse, she told me that if my mother were in the midst of what we called episodes, that the doctors said we should address it by informing her that she’s ill.  This turns my stomach…. what.in.the.hell.

For the last 16 years, I’ve believed my mom was a paranoid schizophrenic! For much of that, I’ve believed she didn’t have the capacity to love me like a healthy mother could.  I’ve believed I couldn’t talk with her about serious conversations. I’ve believed this hereditary condition could very well happen to me. J and I talked about how this could happen to us!

It was only four years ago that my younger sister and I began talking about our mother’s mental health and how we felt something deeper was at play.  We discussed the possibility of a spiritual issue, perhaps something demonic that led to the schizophrenia… but knowing now that the depression and thyroid disease was the cause of her illness all along?!  Why? WHY did she lie to me about my mother?! I didn’t think I could do anything to help her. I didn’t think I could help her!!

I am passionate about health… I know how to heal the thyroid!!! I could help her! I’m determined to do what I can when I go home. I’m determined to discover if there is anyway we can help my mother heal. What abuse she’s endured! How many times did people tell her she was crazy?! How many times was she made to believe she was ill when there was nothing wrong with her but it was the people around her?!

I’m sick to my stomach… how many times did *I* tell her she was crazy… how many times did I leave her in the middle of an ‘episode’ instead of hug her and love her… 😥

I was only 15… J not only emotionally abused me, she potentially stole a relationship I could have had with my mother who has similar struggles that I myself have dealt with! WHY?!

I was just a child…. and I grew up to be exactly the vice against my mother that J instructed me to be. I trusted her…. what other lies do I believe and don’t even know it?!

My mind is reeling…

Continue to expose the lies, Lord! 

Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;  when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Proverbs 26:24-26

Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.” Luke 12:2-3

 

Facing Hard Truths

If I’m being honest, one of the hardest things I’ve had to face is that my dad might be a narcissist or simply doesn’t care about me, even if he isn’t.  I have spent my life convincing myself that if I just gave him more grace and let things slide, that he’d see me as someone of value. Sadly, that’s not been the case.

Two years ago, I moved out of state. Prior to leaving, one of the hardest things I had was that I had finally started to feel close to my dad. For the 10 years prior, I had invested in being real and honest with him and loving on him, encouraging him, and supporting him.  Then, I made a friendly suggestion that maybe my little sister could use more positive affirmation from him.  He became emotionally hostile with me and was very angry. I started having a panic attack and asked him to stop so I could calm down, begged him to trust me that I needed him to stop.  He stood up and yelled at me, “Trust you?! Why should I?! Look at you!” I felt incredibly unsafe and reasoned it was because of my anxiety, but I couldn’t shake how he made me feel about myself.  Once I calmed down, I apologized that things got worked up and he said he just didn’t get the ’emotional’ stuff.

narc parent

This explains a lot about my dad. He would always respond with his own experience 40 years prior or compare me to the founder of the SDA church, he would talk about his friends or some random topic. I never did quite measure up to his standard of a true Christian… then again, I wouldn’t succumb to his belief (that he didn’t live out) that it was the only religion that was true. Anything he shares about me to his peers is a representative of what it makes him look like…. sharing pictures of my children and raving about how beautiful his grandchildren are, posting on my wall about how he worries about all his children, and one time in response to my mother in-law expressing how wonderful I was, he said ‘raise them up in the way they should go!’

I didn’t have a close relationship with my father growing up. I recall him playing with me on a couple of accounts when I was little enough to be afraid and hide behind the couch when he shaved his mustache, but as I got older our relationship got more and more distant.  At 6 years old I remember pondering whether my parents would ask me to hug them good night if I didn’t go up to them on my own. When they didn’t, I stopped going to them…

First off, why in the world did I wonder that? Secondly, I wouldn’t be hugged by my father for 10 years, when I was 16. I remember the feeling, like a wave flooding over me, when he did hug me and I realized he hadn’t hugged me in years. IN.YEARS.

I don’t want to believe my father is a narcissist or that I’m not important to him… but the evidence is piling up.  In the same breath that he complained that his mother (who had no license) didn’t come visit him, he’d justify why he never came to see me.  I went to see him every weekend, and often even more than that.

I’ll admit, a lot of the reason I went to see him was for ME, but I did enjoy learning about him and sharing life with him… but I’m just starting to wonder if I ever did matter… it’s been almost a year and we’ve only talked once and it was initiated by me when my grandmother passed away. He didn’t ask me how I was, he carried on about drama with my cousins and such… I listened and I participated in the conversation, but I felt sick to my stomach. Why do I allow people to treat me like that? Like I don’t matter…. and it all boils down to me not wanting to be a burden when others already have so much to deal with. I don’t want someone to feel overwhelmed with my feelings – the too sensitive, dwelling, and over-reactive feelings.

Well, not anymore. I’m seeing that I’m doing a lot of the work in the relationship.  I’ve never done any of it to *get* something out of it, but I’m starting to see that it’s OKAY for me to get something out of it! haha I’m not selfish for wanting to be loved! And I’m not selfish for not investing in someone more than what I can handle… especially when the people I have invested in don’t even miss me when I am not present.

Who I am is not because I was raised up in the way I should go. I didn’t know who Jesus was until I was 15, I was so hungry for parental affection that a man was able to sexually violate me under the guise of love, and the things I’ve had to overcome were not because my father was a good example.  Who am I? I’m a fighter, a survivor, and an overcomer. I’m *more* than a conqueror and the enemy, the world; the darkness hasn’t won.

I’m me due to the love of a Savior and the passion I have inside of me. ❤