Good morning on this drizzly day in Gaffney, SC. We were planning to go to church this morning but Ron woke up with a gnarly headache ~ those of you who know him, know he rarely gets sick so for him to get up, tell me he has a bad headache, take some Ibuprofen and go right back to bed, you know he’s not feeling well. Thus I’m taking advantage of some extra time, spent time in the Word and am continuing to read and work through the book “Telling Yourself the Truth” by William Backus and Marie Chapman. As I shared a few weeks back, I was given this book by Dr. Keith, a Christian therapist I am meeting with every couple of weeks.
Each chapter addresses a MISBELIEF that so many, including myself, have believed to be true. I am currently working through chapter 7 “Misbelief in Lack of Self-Control” ~ oh my goodness…so much hits very close to home. But let me backup a bit…first there was Misbeliefs in Self-Talk ~ what an eye opener…I had never realized how negatively I talked and thought about myself, the situations I found myself in or the lies I have been telling myself over the years. The biggest lie/misbelief is that I am unlovable…so not true; if I wasn’t lovable I wouldn’t know how to love others!! And I love so many and am blessed by so many!!! The next chapter “Misbelief in Depression” really was a hard one for me…realizing I didn’t and don’t have to be held captive by my depression was so powerful. Yes depression is real. Yes it is hard to deal with at times BUT I don’t have to live in depression ALL the time….I can acknowledge that I am sad or feeling lonely, feeling scared or unsure but I can turn all those feelings over to God, asking Him to help me make it through whatever I am dealing with. Is it easy, HECK NO!!! But God will help me get through anything.
Moving on to chapter 5 “Misbelief in Anger” ~ I had thought dealing with depression and what it is and what I can do to work through the difficult times was hard but ANGER – really challenged me. But God!!! is all I can say…PR was preaching about being a victim, choices we make every day, along with this chapter on anger ~ oh man!!! Poor Ron…BUT GOD!!! Ron and I had some heart-to-heart talks, tears were shed, conviction was felt, anger tried to rear its ugly head BUT GOD!! and the encouragement of Dr. Keith, PR and Ron and my own stubbornness to get through the chapter and move forward….I realized anger was my go to feeling, it’s easier (or was) to get angry then to face reality and truth and after lots of chats with God and prayers of others I made it through the chapter and am enjoying the healing and love of Jesus!!!
On page 61 “the scripture teaches us to deal with our anger and the cause of it and to prevent the emotion of anger from running away inside me. Ephesians 4:26 & 27 says
continuing on page 63 “instead of praying the problem, pray the answer” jumped out to me ~ what a concept…instead of focusing on what is making me angry, ask God to show me how to do things differently, how to respond in and with love! I would love to say I haven’t gotten angry since I read and worked through the chapter but that would not be the truth. One of the health issues we are dealing with is Ron is having night terrors, this is something new for him/us. In his sleep he has slugged me more than once. A few weeks ago I was rudely awakened by a hard slug to my back (at 4:04AM!) needless to say I reacted with yelling and getting so mad at Ron I sulked and cried for about an hour. After going out to the living room and calming myself down I realized my behavior (yelling at and getting mad at Ron for something he had no control over) really didn’t help the situation, just escalated my anger and made Ron feel even worse for what happened. I picked up my book and saw “behave according to the truth.” (pg 65). The truth of the matter was it was an accident, Ron would never hurt me intentionally and my unhealthy response of yelling and stomping through the trailer wasn’t helping anything. I went and crawled back into bed, snuggled up to Ron, asked him to forgive me for overreacting and we prayed together for Ron to get a GOOD, restful sleep and for me to know without a doubt that Ron loves me more than anything.
I would love to say Ron hasn’t had any more night terrors but that’s not the truth…two of the last four nights have been filled with night terrors and hitting out BUT GOD has helped me to (after yelling OUCH) to roll over, hold Ron’s hands and pray for continued peace and rest with both of us falling asleep quickly. I just want to shout “thank you Jesus for helping me to respond appropriately in situations especially ones I would have in the past become a screaming lunatic.”
Chapter 6 is Misbelief in Anxiety. Here are some of the points I underlined throughout the chapter:
* …feels anxious because she has been conditioned…
* “awfulizing” ~ oh I am so good at that, going from A to Z in a nano second, imagining the worse possible thing is going to happen
* the Bible doesn’t teach us to please everybody! I only need to please Jesus!!!
* Must, Exaggerating, Over-stressed, Trapped ~ I need to stay focused on the truth!!!
* Life can be hard and unpleasant but it is endurable. I don’t have to be afraid of unpleasant feelings or situations.
* listen to the words I tell myself, argue against the words that are lies, replace the lies with truth!
Chapter 7 is Misbeliefs in Self-Control ~ can you say another big OUCH!!! Yes, it is hard to read and work through each of these chapters but identifying the lies I have lived behind and underneath and acknowledging what the truth is ~ is so freeing!!!! Words and phrases jumping out at me include victim, my discipline stinks, it’s easier to blame and I’m good at saying I’m going to ________ (fill in the blank) and I realize as I speak truth to these lies…I’m not a victim, I am an OVERCOMER, my discipline doesn’t stink but as we were told at MCH – I just need a lot of do overs 🤣, I don’t have to blame others I can own my own stuff and deal with life as it comes BECAUSE God tells me
Some of the statements in this chapter that really resonated with me include:
*In order to have self-control, I must actively counter my misbeliefs with the sword of the Spirit, the truth!
*I am not helpless. I do have control over my life. I can do what I think might be impossible.
*Sometimes it is okay to deny myself _____ (fill in the blank); it’s not easy but I can do it!
*I can say no to myself, it is not the end of the world!
*I can wait…be patient with myself, look at the patience God has had with me!
*Speak truth: all is well with my soul. I can live through inconveniences, discomfort, distress and other negative feelings!
You may be asking….why am I writing this out…for a few reasons, writing is therapy for me. It helps me to remember the things I have read and want to remember. My writing lets me see how far I’ve come, how good God has been to me and just maybe I can be an encourager to someone else who is struggling through life. Do I have all the answers, HECK NO! But what I do know is that God loves me, God loves you and that even though I may go through a valley or two or three hundred, I eventually get to the mountain top where the beauty and peace is outstanding, wonderful and magnificent!
Until next time! And as my friend Nikki says: Have Fun, Be Safe and Make Good Choices!!