Why Make Idols?

I am posing this question to everyone who comes across this post. Please do not be afraid to post your thoughts in the comments. All responses are welcome. 

Why do we make idols, especially after God has proven himself to be God? The Israelities were a people who miracle after miracle created idola after idol. Why? 

I am meditating on this question and will post a response whenever I have an answer. 

In the meantime, share with me what is on your mind concerning this! 

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Joy of the Lord

I have been out of the country and blogging on my phone so I apologize in advance if I don’t include the verses and rather just reference them. 

I think it’s safe to say that 1 Samuel is my favorite book of the bible. No matter how many times I read it, when I feel like I need God the most, it’s the book I turn to. 

With that I was reading 1 Samuel chapter two and it starts with Hannah praising God and giving all of these thanks to Him. And in her praise she mentions in sum that those who were full, will be in want, and those who had need will be full. It is a theme that I have read multiple times in different places in the bible. 

Today I paused on it. It bothered me because I always only saw it in a vengeance sense. That God will strip people of their things. And it was said in such a way that it was a cause for rejoicing. Like “yes God! It’s their time to experience poverty and my time to be rich!” 

But God drew my attention to the first part of Hannah’s praise, “my heart rejoiceth in the Lord.” And I thought about what if what God is actually trying to convey is the reality that our circumstances, no matter what they may be, are fleeting. One day we can be full and the next we can be hungry. The message, though yes if we want, we can apply it to our enemies, we should apply it to ourselves. Lose the habit of worrying about outward things, and what happens to our enemies and focus instead on how to grow in God. 

God wanted ME to know about ME that whether I am full or in need, let my heart rejoice in Him. 

And as many of you know, I struggle a lot with mental health, but we all experience highs and lows so what God shared with me can apply to everyone. And God just reached into my heart and held it and said, “I remember when this first happened you were so happy and you had so much energy and light, and I loved it. But now that it is seemingly gone, don’t focus on how to change the circumstance to get that happiness back. No. Focus on me to get joy. Joy so that no matter what changes happen in your life, your heart can still rejoice, you can still have my light.” 

I want joy. I need joy. May the joy of the Lord be my strength. 

Peace with Pain: Going Through Process

While meditating with God today He said something very striking. We spoke about the concept of choice. 

I reasoned that I feel like in certain things I don’t have an actual choice because choosing them means choosing a lack of peace. In which case, obviously I will not choose the option that doesn’t give me peace. Who would? He argued back that I technically have. I have chosen the unpeaceful route over and over again and I may choose it again tomorrow. 

Hmmmm….that is true. But I rebutted with thats because choosing God doesn’t give me peace either. And He responded with, “no, you have peace, you just also have pain.” 

I expect that Gods route means Him taking away all that is unpleasant. Process is process. There is no shortcut around the fire. God never said there wouldn’t be pain. 

Can you stand in pain, having peace that He who said He loves you, still loves you even though it still hurts? 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I am sad.
I am sad because I feel hopeless and defeated.
I feel hopeless and defeated because I don’t know how to continue with Jupiter.

Jupiter is my current coworker who I feel the same unhealthy attachment towards, as I have Artemis, and all the ones before her. My friends joke that I should stop leaving my house because clearly I have a radar that senses these people and that’s how I always manage to find them. But that’s besides the point.

I spoke to my therapist this week about how I just want to pull away from Jupiter completely because I am terrified of her hurting me one day. Lately, as my want for her has grown, I have found it harder to interact with her. I second guess everything I’m doing, and everything I say. I am so afraid of doing or saying something that may be unhealthy. The last time we were together we spent the first 15min in silence because I just didn’t know what to do. We’ve been on vacation for over a week and at the start of the break, I deleted her contact information from my phone so that I could not contact her at all. It’s the holidays and I felt like if I contact her then I would be ruining the holidays for her. Why do I feel that? I don’t know. Maybe because I always think so lowly of myself that I always fear that my presence is a contamination.

As school is about to open, and we are about to go back to work, I have been having dreams about us. Us being in the classroom, and her ignoring me, and me breaking down crying. Of course in reality we are perfectly fine on her end. She is not emotionally immature and so she is able to remember that I am real even after not seeing me or hearing from me in a week. Me on the other hand, I feel like I don’t even know who she is anymore.

I want her so much and I am ashamed. So what do I do when I know that following my heart will lead to an unhealthy abusive friendship, which will end with her leaving, but my brain doesn’t have the answer. I saw a Disney Short about the brain and the heart deciding where the man went. So if I have arrested my heart, and my brain is clueless, where can I go? I stay stuck.

If I just distance myself from her completely, after all she has shared with me, and the trust she has in me, she would feel hurt and betrayed. But if I stay and ruin it then I will feel rejected and abandoned.

God teach me how to be. I feel my insides shutting down. I am tired of hurting people, and I am tired of getting hurt. Teach me God how to get it right this time.

The Disney Short I was referring to!

Seeing Leah in Me: Final Installment

I’m back for the last installment in the Seeing myself in Leah series. For Part 1 click here and part two here.

I ended Part one with a quote that says “Sometimes, you choose the one that doesn’t want to be chosen – the one that can’t (or won’t) choose you back.”

cant choose back

This was Leah. She was not as pretty in Jacob’s eyes and Jacob spent 14 years attempting to secure Rachel as his wife. By no fault of Jacobs, he rejected Leah as his wife because he never signed up to be her husband. Leah wanted him to choose her though he had already chosen Rachel. Genesis 29 reads:

31 When the Lord saw that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, he made it possible for Leah to have children, but not Rachel. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, because she said, “The Lord has seen my troubles. Surely now my husband will love me.”

33 Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon and said, “The Lord has heard that I am not loved, so he has given me this son.”

34 Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Leviand said, “Now, surely my husband will be close to me, because I have given him three sons.”

35 Then Leah gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, because she said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Then Leah stopped having children.

If we were to use the least amount of time possible and say that Leah were to get pregnant consecutively then 9*4=36 months about 3 years. In reality she probably had more rest time between babies so I’d say that Leah spent about 4 years hoping for Jacob to see her, be close to her, and love her. She wanted to be chosen too. The status and worth of a woman at the time  weighed heavy on their ability to find a spouse and produce children. Her father had to trick her sisters suitor into marrying her and then he still neglected her even after bearing him male sons that would carry on his name.

With each baby came the hope that Jacob would love her, until finally she came to the end of herself and praised God with no strings attached. She praised God for God and not because she felt He was bringing her closer to what her heart wanted.

I see myself in Leah because my heart yearns to be chosen too. Life brought people into my life who became for me what they never sought out to be. So they grew closer to me thinking they were going to be my brother in law, my mentor, or my friend, then woke up the next morning and realized they were my lover, my savior, and my mom and they don’t know how they got to be there. These roles become cemented and I want them to accept the role and be what they never wanted to be because I want it. I begin to give everything that I think would make them love me and want to be close to me, to only come out feeling empty and rejected. But how can you really reject what you never sought after. Jacob probably did not reject Leah as a person, he rejected her as his wife. It still hurts either way but what do you do? Pursue them endlessly or turn your attention towards the One who chose you, who hears you, and who wants you.

With the birth of Judah, Leah turned her attention to God. This was the child that she finally praised with. And this is the child that God chose to have His Son, Jesus, descend from.

What do I continue to learn from Leah? I learn how to be human. She was content with Judah for a while until Rachel began using her maids to have children. When Leah attempted to engage in this competition with her sister her womb was shut and she had to use her maids as well. God did not allow her to engage in this petty competition for a mans heart that would never be hers. To the day Jacob died we don’t hear or see any account of him ever loving Leah the way she sought. In fact, he favored Rachel’s son’s above all the children that Leah ever bore him.

Wouldn’t it be comforting to read that God eventually gave Jacob a heart to love Leah the way she desired to be loved. That doesn’t happen. Leah eventually stopped seeking love and affection and comforted herself with gaining his respect and security as the mother of his six sons. Genesis 30: 19 Then Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob. 20 She named him Zebulun, for she said, “God has given me a good reward. Now my husband will treat me with respect, for I have given him six sons.” Jacob buried Leah in the burial place of his ancestors, the place where he requested to be buried. So did he ever love her in that way? We don’t know, but he most likely did respect her.

I am human. I desire to be chosen by people who can’t choose me. I turn my eyes to God for a moment but then lose focus on God and attempt to chase the heart of man, only to find that Gods blessings departed from me, and the peace I once had, I don’t have anymore. But I learn, and though I may still have the desires, I turn my eyes towards reality and the Truth, then serve God above my passions and one day God will reward me far above my expectations.

Seeing Leah in Me: Part 2

The more I study the story of Leah, the more I realize that this is going to turn into a series. God is revealing so much to me, and my heart has been feeling so full spending time in my bible. I haven’t felt anything inside of me for a while now. But when I’m reading and studying the story I feel a mixture of ache and hope for a future that was often eclipsed by my depression.

If you have not read Part 1: you can do so here, as that sets the stage for this next post.

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As I have been reading, though this journey originally started with how I am coming to see myself in Leah, I believe that an even more accurate representation of myself is painted by separating the child inside of me and my adult self. While reading about Leah, the similarities between Rachel and I became too much to ignore.

I will try my best to include all relevant information but for a better understanding I suggest reading Genesis 29-30.

Background:
When Jacob arrived in the Land of his Uncle Laban, he fell in love with Rachel, Laban’s daughter, at first sight. Totally enamored, he agreed to work for Laban a total of 7 years in exchange for Rachel’s hand in marriage. At the end of the 7 years, Laban tricked Jacob by disguising his elder daughter Leah, and bringing her into the wedding chamber that night.

SSUP23Top Jacob who was probably drunk and excited from the wedding festivities did not realize He christened a marriage with Leah and not Rachel until the morning. Jacob was furious, but Laban explained that it is not their custom to marry the younger daughter before the elder daughter. Jacob agreed to marrying Rachel the following week, in exchange for another 7 years working for Laban.

Rachel is described as the younger more attractive sister, in contrast with Leah, who is described as having weak eyes. The bible doesn’t say how Leah must have felt watching her younger sister be chosen over her, but for Laban to resort to deceit to marry off Leah, makes me feel like Leah must not have suitors that were interested in her. What the bible does make clear though is that Jacob loved Rachel way more than he loved Leah, and that both Leah and God felt the pain of this rejection. I will dig into this more later but for now suffice it to know that God comforted Leah by blessing her with children compared to Rachel’s Barrenness.

Seeing Rachel in the Child in me:
14 years. That’s how much of Jacob’s time it took securing Rachel as his wife. Despite Jacob expressing his love for Rachel in both word and deed here is what the bible has to say.

When Rachel saw that she was not having children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or i’ll die!” Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am i God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!” Genesis 30:1-2

I am ashamed to say that I exhibited the same intense jealousy towards my attachment figure and even sometimes my own siblings concerning my own mother’s affections. The thing with jealousy is that it clouds the reality of things. Whenever my attachment figure would express affection towards her Pastor (aka Spiritual Mom), or I would feel they had something that me and her didn’t, my emotions would go through the roof. One time it also led me to almost seriously harming myself. Like Rachel I could not see the expressed love that my attachment figure had for me, and I instead drove her away with my need and jealousy. But Jacob stayed and loved Rachel, continuously, she never did anything that lessened his devotion to her.

Once, Leah’s son, maybe about 4 years old at the time brought his mother some
mandrakes. Rachel asked her for the mandrakes, and said “I will let you sleep with Jacob tonight if you give me some of the mandrakes.” Imagine! She knew the power and authority she had over her husband, that she could even dictate when he does or doesn’t sleep with his first wife, her own sister, Leah, then use that to her advantage.

Unfortunately, though Jacob loved Rachel endlessly and unwavering, Rachel died before allowing herself to experience Bible-verses-to-overcome-Jealousyand walk in that love, purely, and wholeheartedly. When God finally granted her request for children, after the first child, she petitioned God again for another son. While giving birth to the second son, she died, and in her last breath named that son Benoni (son of my sorrow). How sad, she had everything and yet died trying to attain what she already had because jealousy made her insecure. She realized too late that her quest for children only brought her sorrow.

I have brought on myself increasing amounts of pain seeking the perfect mother and the perfect friend. In the process I have lost people who mean a great deal to me. I have tried adamantly to gain them back because I felt like I was missing what they offered me. But i’m not.

I have the most amazing mom and group of friends. Show me someone with better friends than me and I will probably not believe you. All five of my closest friends are so unique, and so caring, funny, ambitious, strong/perseverant, that when I allow myself to think on the beauty that is all of them, I am overwhelmed. I think about the patience that they all exhibited towards me in the throes of my illness. When I would get hospitalized, without a doubt I could phone one to bring me clothes. When I was hurting they all were there in the best way they knew how from studying for exams by my hospital bed, to massaging me and providing laughter. When I allowed my reactions to my attachment figure to cause me to withdraw from them, they never held it against me because they understood. But now I know better and understand better and don’t desire to portray that level of selfishness again.

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For when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a (Wo)man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

By the Grace of God I did not die in my sorrow, and I have the opportunity to grow in giving love and experiencing love. I want to maximize on that opportunity.

Seeing Leah in Me: Part 1

**This is a transparent post, and like always I want to share because it is another way in which I recognize an evolution of sorts. I will divide it into two parts.**

Show me someone with BPD that does not have deep identity disturbances and emptiness. The concept of who I am is not even something I am able to ponder on for too long because feeling connected with myself is such a fleeting phenomenon.

Yesterday while on a prayer call, the preacher spoke about finding someone in the bible that resonates with us and learn from their life and walk with God. This resonated with me because this same week at Church a Pastor spoke on how we can’t even believe in the promises or directions of God because we really don’t know who we are in Him.

I thought about who resonates with me the most in the bible, and no one was coming up. The only person I thought of was Elijah because of his depression, but still his story and his life is not one that I relate too on a deeper level. So I gave up the search and resumed feeling very overwhelmed and just despondent towards life. That’s how I’ve been existing, just floating through. I don’t talk with friends as much, getting up is harder, smiling is difficult. I’m pretty sure if someone saw me on the train i’d look like a shell of a person, because that is how I feel.

Yet, in the midst of this I somehow “had a revelation” that I am sooo healed from my attachment figure and I can refollow her blog and her instagram. tumblr_lmg5pvNu5l1qzcy5co1_500While talking to a friend, I casually mentioned that I had done that, not really expecting a reaction because I assumed she would feel the same as me. And immediately she was like why would you do that. And I’m like “idk” and proceeded to move on with the conversation we were having. Then she rewinded it and said we can’t move on because I should not have done that.    images-11

 

*insert her long speech on how at this moment in time where so many things are at stake with classes and medical school, I can’t afford another breakdown, and all it would take is one “wrong” picture and I would crack, blah blah, blah.*

Our conversation was a lot more emotional and it ended with me somberly realizing that I did it because I just wanted to be close to her. I feel soo alone and I just wanted to feel close to her again even if just in my mind. My friend sympathized and we agreed that I could keep the blog but ex the instagram, because it was a risky chance.

*insert my stupidity*

 

I’m on my wordpress and she has a new blog up, yay! I read and enjoy and then decide, maybe she also has a new picture up on instagram (it’s public). Excited with the opportunity to see a fresh picture of her, I go on and I see a new box loading and I start smiling, eager to see what awaits, and am instead greeted with text. Now the alarm went off in my head not to read, but who listens to the alarms right….

In the text I was greeted with the news that she would be starting a show with her spiritual mother about their relationship as a parallel relationship to one of THE most praised spiritual mother and daughter relationship, Naomi and Ruth. For those who don’t know the story, a brief synopsis is Ruth loved her mother in law sooo much that even when their husbands died, Ruth sacrificed her hometown and life to follow and be apart of Naomi’s.

Without warning the floodgates behind my eyes burst open and I was on the phone with a friend confessing my actions and seeking guidance on my next series of actions because the self-defeating and self-damaging thoughts in my head were not healthy. It felt like “Rejection, Abandonment, Un-loved” became anvils that just fell upon my chest and heart.

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I was always jealous of their relationship, I mean after all, I did only spend the last two years hoping that she would see me as her daughter, and that she would want me.

My friend, though she was shocked at my stupidity at first with a “wait, what, why would you do that!” then helped me see that I have been feeling very overwhelmed and stressed and when that happens I use to turn to her, so though it caught her off guard, it makes sense why I would turn to my attachment figure in the only way I knew how.

After googling how to cope with feeling rejected, and un-loved, I came across this quote:

“Sometimes, you choose the one that doesn’t want to be chosen – the one that can’t (or won’t) choose you back.”

cant choose back

From this I was led to the story of Leah in the bible. Part two will pick up there….

To Be Continued….

Gaining Better Focus

I debated about whether I wanted to share my journal entry today. There is a therapeutic release in journaling, which is why I journal so often. However, when it comes to my blog, I have to think about why would I want to share this in a public space. Immediately, I began to feel that when I blog I am taking ownership of myself, and in a way forced to become more conscious of myself by way of knowing that I am in a sense exposed to the people who will stumble across my post. This provides it’s own growth value because I can look back and see a more orderly representation of my growth and this reminds me why I titled my blog “Evolving Perceptions.”

Today during church the Pastor ended by saying this year it won’t be so much about rebuking the devil, as it will be about using wisdom to discern his schemes, because last year it was not about a question of willpower but a question of focus.

As I analyze the past relationship with my most recent attachment figure, I ask myself why was it so hard for me to see her as human. Why did I feel like I either needed to demonize or idolize her in order for me to better understand myself.

I can now see that it was an interplay between both my thought process and her somewhat grandiose personality.

The logic for me flows like this:

God gives me gift of person-> Person begins withdrawing from me-> SInce person was sent by God, all of their actions in my life must be orchestrated by God-> God is withdrawing person from me-> I did something wrong to lose gift -> Work harder to find what you are doing wrong and fix it so God brings person back

She unknowingly reinforced my thought process every time she said, “God is making me leave.” “God says we are purposeless” “God is ending the season” “God says us being apart is better for both me and you.” Most things she did in my life, if not all really, she backed up by saying she prayed over it and it was God influenced.

So I lost focus. I made her heart synonymous with Gods heart. I made her synonymous with God. Everything she did or did not do became a reflection of what God did or did not do. It made me feel I was in this losing battle against God. Therefore, when she tried to leave, God was leaving me.

But now as I gain more wisdom and insight and I look back over last year, what was more reflective of the truth is that, she wanted to help me love myself, but she realized that the way I needed her to be was something she could never be. And because she can be quite extra at times, she also believed that she felt responsible, as a vessel of Christ, to make things work. But that level of responsibility over an adult, coupled with the trials of her life became too much, and in an effort to rebalance herself she had to give up on me because I was too much. In the latter part of our relationship it wasn’t about me, it was about her, everything she did was for her, even if she doesn’t want to acknowledge that she needed to understandably be selfish, I am at a place where I can acknowledge that with understanding and acceptance. It wasn’t God doing this that and the third, it was her making a human decision to preserve herself.

I lost this focus in the relationship and turned her into a God because I needed to feel loved by God. It’s never about discerning if she was God led or devil led, but discerning whether in all things am I moving in a God led or devil led direction. It’s about me not her.

Sometimes all of this begs the questions for me if she ever actually loved me, or if I was just a misguided assignment. My therapist tries to say that it is impossible for her to have been as invested as she was in me and not to have loved me. I think for now, for my peace, I just answer my question with it doesn’t matter now.

However, with this new wisdom, I am able to look back through saved texts that I simply moved out of sight (she invested a lot of time in writing them that I didn’t want to delete them) and I find new compassion when reading them. I see true sincerity from the heart of a human that I was never able to fully see before as I tried interpreting her words through a God lens. I see GREAT care that sometimes when reading them I want to berate myself for being unable to see them before. Even as I read the texts where she began acknowledging that she was overwhelmed, I want to cry because I see her tiredness that could only stem from someone who cares and that truly feels like they are doing the best they can and still I get no better. I remember when I first read them, I read them with so much anger and hurt, because I felt like it was too late for her to claim being overwhelmed when she promised she would never give up, I wanted more and more. Now I see that for the circumstances of how we were in each others life and the fact that she had no relation to me she gave me a lot, and she tried.

Guard Your Heart

About two weeks ago I felt pushed to delve into and write about what it means to guard your heart. However, I couldn’t because there are just some aspects of my heart that were better left ignored, in my opinion, until there was an appropriate time, namely after the biggest exam in my life to date, passes.

209965I can’t help the unintentional triggers that cause me pain. I feel like I don’t have a choice in the instances where in the melting pot that is America, I inevitably pass people that speak her language, or eat her favorite cultural dessert.

I can’t help those, so I took the necessary steps to avoid intentional triggers. I removed everything of hers off my phone, from pictures to texts, and her presence off of my favorite social media sites.

In all of this though, my relationship with God suffered. I blame God for the ongoing state of pain I always find myself in. In my mind I saw the potential for the downfall of this relationship and when I tried to run away, I thought that it was Him teaching me how to stay and learn to love and accept love.

So naturally for me, as i’m sure many people like me with BPD, can relate to. What resulted was the inevitable investment of my entire self. My heart, my mind, I would have even invested my body if she wanted it, in exchange for her to do the impossible task of filling me unendingly. Of course at the time I did not know that I was engaging in this kind of relationship, however, soon after circumstances revealed the nature of my attachment, things went bad fast.

I was already in too deep to pull away, and she was already too scared to love me or care for me past the newly instated boundaries she felt compelled to enact. The result was a perpetual state of rejection and hurt like none other that I have ever faced.

It hurts so freaking bad. I feel like God must be punishing me for being such a bad person. I believe that he orchestrated all of this on purpose to break me. In my mind He must be punishing me because her joy and her peace has been restored, leading me to think that it was Him and her against me this entire time. And I’ve had other borderline relationships end but despite the pain, my internal sense of peace and connection to God, was never affected because things just made sense. This never and doesn’t make sense. So I run away.

guardheartsnoopy

Though I began by subconsciously running away, when God brought it to my consciousness with a post on my instagram that I’m running. And a follow up verse to show me how just to guard my heart, I ignore Him. Philippians 4:4-7

4 Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy.
5 Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon.
6 Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.
7 And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I found it a cruel joke to be told that the way to guarding my heart is by having God’s peace. A peace that comes from not worrying about the trials in my heart, but instead praying for a God to do what He sees fit, when I’m scared that what seems fit to Him is punishing me because I am a bad person that does not exemplify His Glory in the way I live my life.

But yesterday, two weeks after this initial run in with God, my ways failed me, like they always do. My way of guarding my heart backfired, because I truly was always unable to do it alone. Though I thought I removed her from all social media platforms, yesterday night her blog showed up on my wordpress feed, because I completely forgot she had a blog. And like clockwork, just at the mere sight of her name, my heart sank. Everything I have been protecting myself from came rushing full force. I felt pressed at the thought of her noticing that I unfollowed her blog, and feared her thinking it was out of malice and not self-preservation, then saddened by the realization that she wouldn’t even care or give it thought because whereas she was able to stop caring for me, she still means so much to me.

So when I woke up this morning, with no desire to move, or eat, or breathe, I began to cry because I realized that I have to confront my hurt, and my heart, and that I have to do so with God. Removing reminders of her is a way of preventing constant bruising at wounds that are trying to heal, but that is not what guards the heart.

Guarding the heart has to be more, it is meant to be more. It is not trying to protect myself from heart grievances by instituting walls that keep everyone out and me locked in. Guarding my heart is a daily walk of prayer with the God who I am angry at. It is covering myself with prayer, and accepting His comfort. I didn’t know how deeply betrayed by God I felt, until I tried to sit and watch a sermon and anger boiled inside of me, then despondency, then finally waterworks to my friend, that revealed through my rambling that my soul is so unstable, because it recognizes it’s emptiness, and fears that God doesn’t recognize it too. That God doesn’t care about my pain or hurt because He thinks I deserve it. That God has His other children’s backs and I have to get the cinderella step-daughter treatment because I am just inherently vile. I believe that He would have her build me up and help me learn to love myself only to have her reach a point of being unable to love me to reflect the reality that I am unloveable.

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Guard my heart because from it flow the issues of my life. “Guarding my heart” against a relationship is not what this verse intends. Who we are does not flow from relationships but rather relationships reveal who we are. Guarding the heart means guarding the thoughts that we store up inside of ourselves that then color the lens through which we live.

Hence why it is only appropriate that Paul follows up his discussion about Gods’ peace with Philippians 4:8-9

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The thoughts we think are important. Not seeing her name is not how I guard my heart. Dealing with the fact that I feel unloveable and unworthy of connection when I see her name, is guarding my heart, because then and only then will I stop equating my worth with the value I felt I had in our relationship. Then and only then will I be able to see her name without feeling that I will inevitably be rejected because that’s all I deserve. Once those thoughts have been replaced with new ones, I will not only truly heal from this past relationship, but will be better equipped and ready to handle not only new relationships, but different avenues that I may need to get to, that my stunted self-esteem has kept me from.

God must see something in me that makes Him pursue me, and it has to be more than wanting to punish me. Only by working with Him, and not against Him will I be able to purify my heart and gain His peace to help me grow.

Road Map Meme