This will be a different kind of post. I don’t typically openly share things that I am presently struggling with because I don’t want to put myself in a space where any and everybody can give their opinions on how to “fix” the problem. It’s really nothing personal against anyone, I just prefer to share sensitive topics with people that I trust and know their intentions are for my good in the feedback that they give me. Nonetheless, I felt led to share and the funny thing is my first thought was uhm…how much do I HAVE to share??? The response? Tell it all…so here we go.
I gave a message at church on 8/25/13 called “Do you want to get well?” I was reading from John 5 where Jesus approaches the lame man who had been this way for 38 years and He asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole?” I talked about how I thought it was crazy that Jesus would ask this man if He wanted to be made well, if he wanted to be healed, if he wanted to be made whole when Christ knew the condition of that man. I talked about how in order for healing to take place, we must first acknowledge that we are sick and in need of healing. I talked about how if we don’t acknowledge that there is a problem, how will we be led to seek a solution? I further went on to say that as the body of Christ we have a tendency to portray ourselves as being perfect Christians; as if we don’t go through anything; that we’re always happy loving Jesus, and never struggling with anything. We portray this image of a perfect Christian when in reality we are in need of a healing but we fail to acknowledge it because we think that people may question our salvation if they really knew the things that we dealt with…as a saved Christian.
These are the words that played in my mind last night as I sat in my room in tears feeling broken down. Here’s a fun life tip: deal with the issues of life before they start dealing with you. I briefly talked in a previous blog about the reason why I decided to become a vegetarian was because I have benign tumors called fibroadenomas that have been growing in my breasts for years. I had a surgery to have three removed in January of 2012 and since then multiple ones have grown. Although I’ve candidly talked about this issue, I’ve only shared with a few people the insecurity that developed from this. After having the surgery last year I became very insecure. I didn’t feel attractive and though no one knew about the scars that I had, I knew they were there and it made me feel like less of a woman. I thought I had gotten over that but the reality was I had just tucked it away and chosen not to deal with it anymore.
In the last month I’ve been considering having the surgery again to have them removed because of the pain and size of them. For whatever reason I decided it was a good idea to get on YouTube (it was not one of my best ideas) and do more research about fibroadenomas and I came across a video of this doctor talking about the breast cancer risks associated with them. Although the likeliness of them turning into breast cancer over time is unlikely, there is a possibility that it can happen and that chance is heightened when you have a high family history of breast cancer which I do. My doctor had already informed me of this, I was well aware of this, but hearing it this time was different. As I lay in my bed last night thinking about it once again, I started to question myself. If I have this surgery again does it mean that I don’t trust God to heal me? Is the surgery God’s answer to relieve the pain and I’m being to spiritually minded to realize it? Do I not have faith in God that He can make it go away? But the one thing that stood out in all these thoughts was this one statement, “But I’m saved, I shouldn’t be feeling like this.” It was like I felt like something was wrong with me because I was breaking down in this way. I had just left from bible study, just finished talking to my mom and my best friend, and then this just kind of came out of nowhere.
I sat in my bed crying and I started to remember all those same things I thought last year when I was so insecure. I began to think again about how I’ve spent the last few years growing my hair out and what if I do get breast cancer and have to go through chemotherapy and I lose all of my hair (vain I know, but it’s my truth). I began to think again about, how am I going to explain these scars to my one day husband? I’m celibate, so what if we get married and he see’s this and decides that he can’t do it and that he doesn’t want to be with me anymore? I began to think about when I have children what if I’m not able to breastfeed? Our boobies are one of the things that make us women; because I have this issue I don’t feel as “womanly.” Not to brag none whatsoever, but I’m typically pretty good at combating negative thoughts right from the get go. I will find some scripture to fit what I need at that moment and I will believe that truth over the lies that are playing in my head. I couldn’t do that last night. I went to tell myself “I am made in God’s image. I am fearfully and wonderfully made” and the next thought was NO, God did not make you with those ugly things. There’s nothing wonderful about them…
At this point, it’s way past midnight and I know I have to get up early for work today and I’m just sitting in my bed crying feeling sorry for myself. I had never been in this place before where I felt like I couldn't encourage myself to get over it. It scared me to be honest because I started to feel consumed by these emotions and I felt like I couldn't fix it, like it was out of my control. I began to think again…why is this still happening when I am at the place that I am in God? The response, wait for it… “Because you chose to believe the lies.” When you give the enemy an opportunity, he will wreak havoc and have a field day in your mind and in your heart. The truth is this, I cry. I cry often. I break down. I’m not perfect. I mess up. I get insecure sometimes. I don’t have it all together. I don’t have it all figured out. However, the bigger truth is this, THAT DOES NOT MAKE ME LESS OF A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE I GO THROUGH THINGS! (That’s in all caps more so as a reminder for me, I’m not yelling at you I promise). It makes me human and in desperate need of Christ. I woke up this morning feeling fine surprisingly (well not surprisingly, we all know how fickle our emotions can be) and I knew it was an attack that I gave into. I knew it wasn’t “real” but the reality was in that moment last night, I felt attacked, by myself, by my own thoughts and I believed it to be real in that moment. I woke up today deciding that I will NOT believe the lies and that I am not defeated. Yes I’m insecure in this area, but that does not put my salvation into question and I am not exempt from feeling this way just because I’m saved. But instead, I’m acknowledging that there is a problem and I’m giving that area to Christ and realizing that I don’t have to be ashamed because I feel this way. It’s my truth and instead of being bound and tormented by what I’m going through, I’m sharing it because I hope it encourages someone else to believe the truth over the lie.
So this is for you. To the person that doesn’t feel good enough, you are (Psalm 139: 13-14). To the person that wants to hide their struggles, you don’t have to go through it alone; there is healing in confessing (James 5:16). To the person that has some "issue" that makes you not feel pretty enough, don't forget where your beauty lies (1 Peter 3:3-4). To the person that doesn’t feel loved, don’t forget who loved you first and still does (John 3:16). To the person that is worried, don’t forget your source of peace (Philippians 4:6-9; Matthew 6:25-34). To the person that feels attacked, don’t forget that you are equipped with armor (Ephesians 6:10-20). To the person that feels tempted, don’t forget that God is with you (1 Corinthians 10:13). To the person that wants to believe the lies, store the truth in your heart (Proverbs 4:23). To the person that’s trying to carry the weight of the world, give it to Jesus (1 Peter 5:7). To the person that feels confused, seek God (2 Timothy 2:7). To the person that feels weak, God is your strength (Isaiah 40:29-31; 2 Corinthians 12: 9-11). To the person that is afraid, don’t forget Who is with you (Psalm 23:4). God has an answer to whatever it is that your problem is. Believe that truth. God bless.