He Is Better
"For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a Mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." ~Zephaniah 3:17
All I prayed for was for God to make my feelings change. I had been feeling so desperate for love and so incredibly sad for the past three days and I could not stand it any longer. That morning, I uttered two very distinct prayers intermingled amongst the other things I said to God. Those two things were: God, change my feelings. Please, just make my heart feel better. I am broken and I do not know what to do, and keep satan so far away from me today. I know that he loves to take anything when I am like this and dig deeper into my insecurities.
This was Monday...this past Monday. Let me back up a little. My feelings have been waxing and waning for quite some time over the past several months. While I can recognize that God has been doing some good things in my life, those good things have not been easy (back up a couple of posts for more details). Sometimes sadness comes flooding in with great intensity and I am not sure what to do with it. Most of the time, I try to stay away from people that I care about in order to keep those relationships "safe" and not alienate them. This last weekend, it was bad. Monday morning, I just knew that I was going to wake up feeling better. But I didn't. I woke up, still feeling crummy and stumbled downstairs to do my Bible study like I do every morning. Then I spoke the prayer above, got dressed, gathered Hannah, and went out the door.
About 15 minutes before I left, I received a text that said, "Happy Monday. I love you BIG."
She had no idea how much that meant to me and how much I needed that at that moment, so I told her just that.
I dropped Hannah off, got back into the car, and what happened next is quite impossible to put into words. I have not ever been one to say that I have heard God speak audibly and I didn't this time either, but this was God speaking to me. This is what came to me...
Rikki, when you were a child, the very people that were supposed to love you unconditionally, tenderly, daily, without fail, and never leave you did not do that. They did not show you what love is. They would tell you that they loved you but were not consistent in their actions. The healthy sense of love and affection that a child should learn early on was not shown to you by the most important people in your life. Your parents did not show you that you were the most important thing in their life. They (and drugs) were the most important things to them. You learned that from a very early age and to compensate for that, you found love in constructive ways, but in ways that would plague you as an adult.
You went to school and you earned love. You were an excellent student. You performed well, you were a shining star, you put on a great show. No one would have ever believed that your home life was what it was. You were popular, you were a best friend to everyone, you got straight As, you were a cheerleader, basketball player, softball player, leaders in clubs, drama teams, in the 5th grade your last report card was ALL 100s for crying out loud!!!!! But why?? Because you wanted to be noticed. You wanted to be loved and accepted, and the way you did that was by showing that you were worthy of that love. It worked! Except when it didn't.
I sat in my car probably with my mouth wide open. My complete attitude changed. In a split-second my feelings changed. I was no longer overcome with sadness but almost relieved that God had given me such an insight into why I was so incredibly dysfunctional!!! I think I found some sort of comfort in the fact that, although, I am in control of my own actions, I did not have to be completely at fault for the way I am. I felt a peace wash over me like I cannot explain. I felt God say to me that it was all going to be okay. Once again, I felt His presence and Him say, "Rikki, this might be hard, but I am with you." It is hard. It is not fun to dig up old things that you want to not think about. I have long forgiven my parents for the pain from my childhood. I am thankful for the person that I am today, for the most part. I am thankful for the relationship that I have with both my dad and with my mom. My mom and I have gotten so much closer in the last 8 months, because I have prayed that God would show me how to be her daughter and for Him to show me what she needs from me. This life is not all about me, it is about Him and I want to point her to Him.
I don't know exactly what this revelation means for me except that I know that God is teaching me to trust in Him. I cannot serve two masters. If I seek approval and significance in man, then I am looking in the wrong place. I need to be more concerned about what God thinks about me instead of what people think. I know that every time I have a tendency to do something or say something or buy something for someone, I will question my motive first to make sure that I am doing it out of a giving heart and not because I need an extra dose of love or acceptance that day. I know that God is changing my heart. I know that God loves me and that I do not have to do anything to make Him love me more but it is the people that I love that has been my issue. I have to trust that the people that love me, love me because they simply LOVE ME not love that I tell them they are pretty, buy them presents, or that I act a certain way. If I have to do that for someone to love me, they did not truly love me to begin with. This is going to be a process but I will be okay.
I have wonderful friends. They are absolutely a gift from God and I will NEVER quit thanking Him for that. I have a handful of people that I can call right this very second and I know that they would, if able, do ANYTHING for me. I have to trust that they are not going to "drop me" when I am a hard friend to love or when I make mistakes, because Lord knows I will.
God not only changed my feelings on Monday, He took my simple prayer request and He said, "I am going to do something even better than that, I am going to change your entire perspective on life. I am going to change you!" My goodness, I cannot wait to see where He takes me!