Psalm 146:2 "I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Part Of My Testimony That Remains Untold ...Til Now!!!

"Only GOD can turn a MESS into a MESSage, a TEST into a TESTimony, a TRIal into a TRIumph, a VICTim into a VICTory. GOD is GOOD... all the time!" Deanna Smith-Powers

Hi Everyone,

DISCLAIMER: I want to preface this post by saying that my motive of writing this post is ONLY to give God glory for what He has done. It does contain some references that are slightly sensitive material regarding my life and testimony before I understood God;s love and grace as I do now. The mention of these issues is not intended to cause any other to stumble in the same way I did, but rather it is meant to be an encouragement to other girls/guys that may be struggling in different ways. Again, this is NOT to be used for any other purpose than for edification and is simply an honest brief stating of some of my personal testimony. If you have questions after reading this, or are struggling and would like prayer and/or help, I would love to help you or be in prayer about your situation.

For those of you that have not read my testimony at all, and are new readers wondering, what is up--you might want to check out a few posts that explain a little more about my testimony such as June 2010 posts "So you weren't a Christian and You went to the Mission Field" and "So How did God Use My Team Members In Mexico To Ultimately have a part in Drawing Me To Himself?" These posts would give you some background information.

AND IF IT SEEMS "BLEAK" OR "depressing" at the beginning, please keep reading because it doesn't stay that way. :)

So a few days ago, I posted a blog titled "I Can totally Relate..I used to Think That Way" It was a post about a John Wesley biography that I have been reading, and how I could relate to some of his personal doubts and experiences, before I came to the place of trusting Christ and having that assurance (which is priceless) that no matter what I am His for all eternity.

I talked about the quiet desperation that I went through--and this is something that I went through for years, but didn't want to admit it. I was scared of death, but yet at the sane time, I hated the life that I had created for myself, and the choices I had made...of course it took awhile to realize all of this. I hated my life so much that I didn't want to keep living on the way it was, but I was horribly scared of death at the same time, because I had no assurance of where I was going for eternity. Can I just interject and say that things are really different now and this is a non-issue, but I am just telling the truth.

So this desperation that was quiet and never expressed, but inwardly very real, was a factor when I went to Mexico, especially as a long-term worker in 2008. I had expectations that my life would be greener on the other side of the fence. Living with the Mexican couple that loved me, with the love of Christ, in spite of all of "the unlovable things," astounded me.

But when I moved out on my own to get my own apartment and be free to "do my own thing," disaster struck. I discovered how truly lonely I was living on my own and the sense of desperation increased to the point where I stopped eating for several months. Life had become a nightmare to me. I had based all of my identity on what I was accomplishing, and since I didn't "feel" like "in my eyes" I was accomplishing anything, I felt worthless and major depression set in. In general many things were not going as I had hoped they would be. I was mis-perceiving a ton of information from my fellow workers too, because I, in part was not willing to communicate with them about my REAL needs and thoughts and feelings......which at that time were not pleasant.

So about the whole "not eating" thing, whatever you want to call it, I just want to say that I never got officially diagnosed as it being an "eating disorder" or anything, but basically it was truly the ultimate expression of the hopelessness I felt inside. I had climbed the "top of the ladder" to where I always wanted to be in life, discovered that instead of being the one that was going to tell others about Jesus, that I needed to be saved myself, and that without Christ in my life at the center of everything, there was nothing there-------and I didn't care about anything. And I was mad at God too--really mad because I felt He had given me the "short end of the stick" in many ways.

Really, in all honesty, my struggle had NOTHING to do with food at all--food was just what I was using as the last thing I felt I could control in my life for some reason.

So in the midst of my eating and depression struggle, I came across a blog of a girl named "Nanny." She is on hospice, honestly, because she chose not to feed and care for herself, and now is sadly, but truthfully paying the consequences from the years of making those choices. ("Nanny" is a very significant part of this story--so I will continue with her later.)

Now I'd like to say a few things to anyone out there struggling with "eating issues" as well as other addictions, because I have no idea who is or who might read this someday.

I believe that there are ladies and men that buy into the LIE (LIE IS EMPHASIZED) that, "you have to be a certain body weight to be attractive." I also realize that what is considered "attractive"-whatever that means, varies from culture to culture at times, and may vary as well with how the society is perceiving things or styles and stuff like that.

Now can I just honestly say that the television and the media and movie industry do NOT HELP WITH THESE MATTERS!!!! They portray young women looking like "skinny paper dolls" when NO ONE that looks like that in real life is probably very healthy.....or should look that way.

The other day, I went to Hy-Vee to buy some groceries and made the mistake of accidentally looking towards the checkout on the left side as I waited in line, whereas usually I look straight ahead, but the person ahead of me was taking forever and I felt like I was starting to stare. So, as I looked to the left, I was bombarded instantly by a bunch of really stupid magazines.

You know what I am talking about, right?

So I immediately turned my head to the right, hoping to avoid another "magazine confrontation." However, in my heart, I honestly got instantly irate and perturbed because on that side too were more MAGAZINES!!! GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

Excuse me media and culture, but hello!!!!

Your magazines DO NOT HELP OUR WOMEN IN SOCIETY as they look at the image of the latest model or Hollywood movie star or whatever who has had a gazillion plastic surgeries to have her or his body totally changed.

Some of our women leave thinking THAT is what they have to do to be happy---and IT ISN'T GOING TO SATISFY THEM!!! IT IS GOING TO DESTROY THEM!!!!!!!!!

And your magazines DO NOT HELP OUR MEN EITHER--because they see them and are engaged in a battle, to put it lightly, of "where their eyes should be" and then it becomes a struggle of where their thoughts are.


Now, granted, each person is still fully responsible before God for what they do with their body and how they care for it, or use it (eyes, mouth, ears, hands, etc.) But I just wanted to say that the media and many other things do not help in aiding towards Godly purity and lifestyle in the least!

So, back to the addictions and eating issues topic for a minute. I believe that there are women and men that buy into the whole "I have to be super skinny and starve myself to be accepted thing." And it doesn't help if you are a gymnist or something like that, always being in the "public eye."

But I also believe that there can be other reasons why we give into "eating issues or any other addiction (even something deemed "less serious.") in our lives. It can be, like me, a spiritual issue. I am not trying to cause doubt in people by saying this, but it really could be true. So if you are struggling with something, whatever that is, I encourage you to simply and honestly look at things before God in light of the truth, and ask yourself if your (whatever it is) is an addiction out of escape or desperation for some other real true and deeper longing or reason.

What is REALLY going on?

What do you REALLY think about deep down?

Why ARE you doing whatever it is that you are doing?

Are you trying to fill a void for God's love with something else?

Be honest with God---because it might just change your life forever!!!! I did, and He did just that!

So when I came home from Mexico, one of the first songs that I ever heard being played was this one--my mom had it going in her CD player. It was Jonny Diaz' song "More Beautiful You"--the lyrics to this song follow.

More Beautiful You Lyrics

Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn't straight her body isn't fake
And she's always felt overweight

Well little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care your skin your body and your hair
Are perfect just the way they are

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Little girl twenty-one the things that you've already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you've got a man but he's got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead

Well little girl twenty-one you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there's a man whose love is true
And he'll treat you like the jewel you are

So turn around you're not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It's not too late you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the one who's strong can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you'll see through the eyes of a little girl

And let me tell you something! As I heard that song, it just about broke my heart, because I could relate! And I thought, "What? They actually write songs like this?" And secretly, one day when my parents were gone, I had to listen to the words of that last part again----these words:

"So turn around you're not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It's not too late you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the one who's strong can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you'll see through the eyes of a little girl"

And I just about cried, because Jonny Diaz, as a man, had so clearly recognized that the whole eating thing COULD TRULY BE a SPIRITUAL ISSUE--which for me, it was!


I am absolutely convinced of that!!!

All of that said, I started talking about "Nanny" a real girl, who is really on hospice, who eventually is going to die because of the choices she made to stop eating, to binge and purge--and there are reasons why she did that. (I asked for her permission to mention all of this.)

So where "Nanny" comes back into the picture is that for about the past year, I have been following her blog, and with her facing the truth of the reality of her past choices,she is trying to use her life to turn others away from the pain and agony that they will one day experience if they continue down that pathway of "eating issue" addiction.

And if I had not found her blog, I probably would have been stubborn enough to continue down that same path........but because of the grace of God, I have not and will never again chose to do that!

You see, once I got saved, about eleven weeks ago, my first thought was "Nanny needs Jesus...and she may not have much time left." And she became the first person I shared the gospel with, and my testimony, which included these true and sensitive details. I told her everything and why I did what I did, and asked her some of those hard questions.

BUT IT HASN'T STOPPED WITH "NANNY." God is using my life and what I went through and what I chose to not only minister to "Nanny" in her time of real need, but also to some of her family members as well.

So has "Nanny" trusted Jesus? I don't know--it is a question that is totally between her and God, just as it is a question between "you and God," or "me and God." But, I know that with my every intention, prayer, and thought, I have done what God has called me to do---to share the gospel with her and love her through my words and actions and prayers to the Father, being confident that Yes, He has and does still hear me, even though I may never know the answer...until eternity. I know that the same God who holds my life in his hands, is totally capable of handling hers and the lives of her family members. So please pray for them......and pray that God would use me in some way in all of this, to the praise of HIS GLORIOUS NAME!!!!!!

I'd like to state the quote that I started this post with once more to close---and may we MARVEL and PRAISE GOD FOR THE DEPTH OF TRUTH IT SAYS!!!!

God is GOOD--all the time---and I am living proof!!!

"Only GOD can turn a MESS into a MESSage, a TEST into a TESTimony, a TRIal into a TRIumph, a VICTim into a VICTory. GOD is GOOD... all the time!" Deanna Smith-Powers

No comments: