A few weeks ago, I was going through an extremely painful time. I felt crushed on many levels. Below is Betty’s wisdom to me on how to get through this particularly difficult storm.
Avoiding pain is an obstacle to healing. Healing can be painful. We have to open the door that holds the pain. If we open the door, God will heal us. Often we don’t have enough faith to let Him. We have to believe He heals.
Take charge. You’re in charge of what you do. “Lord, this is difficult to handle so help me not to hold on to it and to instead give it to you.” Rather than going into anxiety, use the energy for prayer. It’s a choice. Go into your strong woman when things that are difficult come your way. Say, “Lord, teach me how to be strong.” Go the way toward good mental health. Go the way toward letting God be God, rather than choosing to go the way of anxiety because you have the strength to do that. That is a choice on your part, to choose the way of strength or weakness.
Don’t put your energy into telling yourself what you can’t do. I don’t understand why you do that because you pull yourself over into a limiting position and you don’t let God be God. Instead put your energy into letting God do that which He can do. You make God be as small as you are when you do that and then you have negative results from the way you handle things in that area.
I agree this is difficult, but I’m not taking it to the exaggerated place you’re taking it. You can say this is hard, but don’t stop. Go ahead and finish the work that God has begun. He’s doing good work in you and that’s a tremendous gift. Don’t do anything to stop it for goodness sake. It’s an opportunity to develop healthier ways of facing life.
I asked if it was okay if I asked God to slow up the lessons a bit and she said:
Why don’t you move towards the positive and say, “Lord, give me the courage to face all these lessons that you’re so generously giving me?” It’s okay to ask for help, but don’t go into the negative. You say, “Stop it” instead of saying, “Lord, help me handle it.” Even if you say, “Lord, of myself I can’t handle it, please give me of your grace. That’s ok. It’s positive. I think God’s being very generous with you and giving you opportunities to grow. Ask for the grace to handle it rather than telling the Lord to stop it.
Have you ever meditated on the scripture, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?” (Phil 4:13) Ask the Lord to help you with your unbelief. Say, “Lord, I don’t seem to believe that what you said is true because I’m not acting like I believe it.” I tell myself, “Betty, do you believe or not? If you believe, act like you believe.” I don’t want to insult God with my unbelief. When you get in these bad places, you become filled with despair and you aren’t willing to let God be God. You limit Him when you’re in those places. But even then can’t you make a choice to say, “Lord, you’re beyond anything in me that’s weak so I just call on You to strengthen me with these feelings I have that I can’t handle this.”
“Lord, you’ve got a problem” is a big help for me because when I say it I’m usually handing over to Him something I feel is overwhelming for me. But it’s positive. It’s saying, “Lord you’ve got a problem. I’m not going to try to handle this one on my own.”
Lent is a time of testing. May we receive the grace to embrace what comes our way and to turn our trials over to God.