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GADgirls

A Grief, Anxiety, & Depression Blog

What You Deserve

If you’re grieving right now, a common question that goes through your mind is probably “what did I do to deserve this?” You’re not alone. I’ve selfishly asked myself that question many times. In this post, I’ll be relating my points specifically to romantic relationships. For me, break-ups always feel like the end of the world. You may be going through a break-up right now, at the end of hope, and deeply discouraged. If you’re like me, you’re on a constant quest to find someone who loves just like I do, so here, I hope to tell you what you actually deserve and give you hope going forward, knowing what you deserve.

Disclaimer: I’m a sinner and I fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and I know I don’t deserve anything, and if you’re a believer, you should feel this way too, but I am so deeply burdened for young women who don’t know their worth and value in romantic relationships (because I’ve been that girl), so this title and post is meant to bring awareness to those who are simply settling.

You deserve to be pursued.

I’m not going to lie to you. Every time I hear and type the word “pursue” I want to condemn my Southern Baptist upbringing and Christian high school and college education. But it’s true! You shouldn’t have to bring yourself to do all of the work in a relationship. There’s a hard truth here, and it’s this: if he’s not pursuing you, he’s wasting your time. A man that truly pursues you, whether he realizes it or not, will take the time to get to know you, ask you questions (maybe even hard ones), text you back first, every morning, and every night (I know, this one is hard to believe), meet your friends and even hang out with them. A man pursuing you will want to do all of these things, and you deserve it.

You deserve to feel special. 

Everyone feels special in different ways. A good way to figure out what makes you feel special is by determining what your primary love languages are. If you haven’t taken the test or read the book (The 5 Love Languages), I can link the test below (this is in no way sponsored, I just think it’s really important to know and understand). My love language is receiving gifts. It makes me feel really special when my guy brings me something small (a coffee, a note, etc.,) because I know he thought about me at some point that day, and I know I’m loved, and I know I’m special. Figure out what your love language is and don’t settle for a man that isn’t willing to understand it.

You deserve to laugh. 

Gosh, laughing? Isn’t this a blog about depression and grief? Girl, can you even believe right now, that you deserve to laugh? I’m asking you to dream big right now and search deep within yourself and remember what it’s like to laugh. Those brief moments of happiness are what you deserve. Your sense of humor and his should align. Sometimes it doesn’t have anything to do with sense of humor. Sometimes he does things and they make you happy so you giggle. You deserve to giggle at those things.

You deserve to be told that you’re beautiful.

Going back to the love languages for a minute; if yours is words of affirmation, you need to make dang sure that your man is telling you that you’re beautiful, gorgeous, pretty, etc. every chance that he gets. If your love language is not words of affirmation, you’ll find that being told you’re pretty never gets old. You shouldn’t have to ask a guy to tell you you’re pretty or try to prove it to him. Be pursued.

You deserve to be prayed for. 

I could be way off base with this, but I can’t be the only woman in the world that thinks a man praying, especially your man, is extremely sexy. Please, go ahead, pray for the food, pray for the day, but most importantly pray for me. A man that prays for you definitely cares about you, and you deserve that.

You deserve to know where the relationship is going.

Another hard truth is gonna come from this one, girlfriend. If you’re not dating with the intention of marriage, what are you doing? I promise you, dating without the intention of marriage is another waste of your time. If you or him are not thinking about marriage, you are both setting yourselves up for self-inflicted hurt that could have been avoided all together.

You deserve support.

Some things in life require very hard decision-making processes, for example, choosing which college to attend, starting a business, finding your dream job, starting a blog, etc. The man that’s pursuing you knows your dreams and aspirations, therefore, he should support you in and through these decisions. I’m talking specifically about dating relationships. Marriage is (or should be) a joint decision. The great thing about being “single” is you still deserve to pursue your own dreams. Having a boyfriend should just be like having a support system and encourager.

You deserve forgiveness.

This one is hard. I’m not even sure how to write about it accurately but I’m going to try because it’s important. Forgiveness does not always mean staying together (again, in a dating relationship). I personally believe that being disloyal and cheating is a grounds for breaking off a relationship. But because we are loved by a forgiving God, we should also forgive and be forgiven. Forgiveness is part of maturity, and sometimes when you need forgiveness, an immature side of someone will bring itself to the surface and you’ll realize it’s not what you deserved anyway.

You deserve to be trusted. 

If he doesn’t trust you, there’s some issues he needs to work through first. Trust is vital in any relationship to avoid that self-inflicted hurt we talked about earlier. Trust me. 😉

You deserve to be valued.

This one is really hard to explain too because, if I’m being honest, I’m still learning what this means. Being valued ties into many of the things I’ve already told you that you deserve, but it also goes way beyond any earthly emotion or feeling. Being valued comes from knowing your own worth and not settling for less. Being valued comes from loving yourself and pursuing your relationship with God. Being valued comes from displaying a radiance in your life that the world can see, and once a man sees these things, he won’t be able to not value you because you value yourself.

“But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows”

Matthew 10:30-31

The Diagnosis.

Since the last time you read anything from this blog, I was just a girl with a generalized anxiety disorder and a little bit of understandable depression…or so I thought.

My mental health diagnoses have come one by one and slowly but surely. I have now been on 3 medications, which is very little compared to some. I have been blessed enough to have a circle of friends and family that have encouraged me along the way, even to seek help. I had no idea that I’d be one day diagnosed with such a mean disorder: bipolar disorder.

To my family, and others close to me, I hope you don’t see me any differently, and I hope you don’t see a huge bipolar disorder sign above my head every time you run into me. I’m afraid of the stigma, and afraid of being associated with it.

I want to calm your hearts. I’m still a functioning human being, but sometimes I’m over-functioning. I don’t have a major bipolar disorder diagnosis, and my case is somewhat minor. I do have “episodes” from time to time, where I will get angry and extremely upset, but part of me wants to believe that you do too. I am, however, NOT my bipolar disorder. I am Jennifer; daughter of the King, who loves me, and in Whom I identify.

This is all very new to me, and it’s hard for me to write much more than that without a few tears, but I hope my story is not uncommon, and I hope at lease one can testify to feeling the same way.

I truly believe this blog was God-inspired and I do not intend to quit now.

God bless all of you,

and thank you for understanding my sporadic posting during this time.

A New Series

Hello again everyone!

Last year I was on a mental health high; meaning that my mental health seemed to be in good shape and I was able to encourage others that were struggling better. Right now, I wish I could say the same. 

Let me start from the beginning. During the summer I was put on a new medication. The medication I was on before (Lexapro 20mg) seemed to feel ineffective. The doctor bumped me up to 50 mg of Pristiq and I was off to start my senior year of college. The lexapro was working just fine for me for about 3 years, but unfortunately 20mg is the highest dose you can take of the lexapro.

I had really no anxiety when I was put on a new medication because I do trust my doctor. I learned a new lesson in this hard period of my life that no anti-depressant is equal. I became more depressed and even had thoughts of not wanting to be on this earth anymore. Now, for those of my family and close friends reading, I don’t want you to worry. I took the necessary steps when I was feeling this way, and had no intention of acting on my suicidal thoughts, because that’s what they were. There’s no reason to sugarcoat it. 

Due to the suicidal thoughts and explosive bursts of depression I called my doctor and began weening off of the demon. I do not say that lightly. The medication put me through hell, and now I’m in the process of coming back. 

So here starts the journey of finding the right medication OR deciding if this is it. Is this the time I say no to depression drugs and start learning how to cope with the brain imbalance that results from trauma and grief that I have suffered with for a long time? 

I’ve been feeling lead to start blogging again because this battle with depression drugs and dealing with life is something many people who have been diagnosed with depresssion and/or anxiety will be familiar with. My journey will be different from yours but I hope through this journey, the end goal for all of us will be hope. We have something to live for, no matter how we’re feeling. I hope that at the end of this new series I am able to say “This worked for me, and now I know what to do.” I hope that through this series, yours and my relationship with God becomes 10x stronger because we were able to say “God, I’m trusting you with this” together. I hope this is something that is well received and something that benefits you through your personal journey with anxiety, depression, and/or grief.

I want to do a sort of disclaimer by saying: 

1. I reacted poorly to Pristiq. That does not mean you will too. I have heard terrible things about Zoloft, but I have also heard of it working fantastically for others. The same goes for this medication.

2. I gave you the medication names as a source for education on depression medication. I did not mention them to scare anyone out of taking these drugs, but I do want to encourage you to not take the side effects lightly.

3. I am not against taking medication for depression or anxiety at ALL. I may at the end of this journey say “this is enough and I’m trusting God to balance my brain for the rest of my life.” I expect everyone to be okay with that decision because I have been on medication for 3 years. The long-term effects of anti-depressants can be worse than the present effects. I do know there are those who are genetically diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety forever, and on a case-by-case basis, I will not say that being on medication forever is a bad thing.

All of these things being said I hope you will join me on my journey to find hope and participate as well. I want us all to share our journey to hope by hashtaging #journeytohopeseries. Comment with your stories of finding the right medication and weening off of them as well. I need the encouragement as much as you do! And because I got in the habit of ending each post with a relevant Bible verse, and I believe in a God bigger than mental and chemical imbalance, here’s one to heal your soul.         

Isaiah 53: 4-5 “Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Off the Grid

Since coming home from school for the summer, I have been questioning my purpose in life and what God has for me. As I approach my senior year of college, I am nothing but scared, tired, emotional, excited, anxious, and worn out all at the same time. There’s so many things I want to be, so many things I feel like I haven’t done, and so many things I wish I could do. Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to: I just want to make a difference.

I’ve walked into work nearly every single day, with about 1-2 days off a week, and while many good things happen there, I can’t seem to shake off the terrible comments and actions of others. Not all of them have been directed towards me, but I have 2 ears and 2 eyes and I can witness the hate, gossip, and disrespect going on around me. I’m no stranger to the real world, don’t get me wrong, but I do live in a Christian bubble 9 months out of 12, which is the best thing ever and I love it. Since realizing this bubble will be popping in a year, I really just want to figure out what I can do.

First I want to acknowledge my brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m so disappointed in us, as a church. Why do people hear the word Christian and then automatically assume judgment? Is it because of the times we’re living in? Is it because of the way media portrays us? It could be a number of things, but recently I’ve just been living and listening, trying not to impose my beliefs on anyone unless they ask about it. So here I’ve been, living and listening, and what do I hear? Hate. “You’re doing this and it’s wrong. You’re doing that and it’s wrong and I’m right and I have to convince you of it because I’m entitled due to the way I’ve grown up. I am entitled to be right, I am entitled to speak because we’re a freakin’ free country right??” It’s noise. I can’t listen to it anymore and I won’t. I will not be associated with the people who think they have to be right all the time, who point out everyone else’s actions and sins without pulling out the plank in their own eyes. Want to put a title on them? Call them Christians. I will not lie, I have a bit of hate in my heart too, but it’s not for the people who don’t associate with religion, it’s with the people who claim to be like a brother and sister to me…in Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and you are not. Please do not talk to people like you are. Stop your pointing and shouting; drop your entitled attitude, and start loving, no matter the circumstance. If someone asks you about your faith, which if you’re living and listening, will actually happen a lot, God has given you your cue, and now you can speak THROUGH THE LORD ABOUT the way, the truth, and the life. 

Next, I want to acknowledge my coworkers, colleagues, family, and friends who choose not to associate with religion. I can’t blame you, seriously and honestly. I consider myself fortunate to be raised in a religious home, which you may not understand. I am sorry on behalf of the church that we are failing you as a society today. I will not lie to you, the mission of the Christian is to proclaim Jesus throughout the lands. You may not want to hear it, and I respect that. I’m sorry that some of my brothers and sisters don’t. If you currently have any questions about my faith, I’m always available and 100% willing to talk or even just listen. I am so far from following all of the rules that you probably are aware of that are stated in the Bible. I will always fail this way. Christians are not perfect, and I’m sorry you might think that we try to be all of the time. I also want to apologize for some of the hateful comments and accusations you may have received on behalf of the church. I truly believe this is not how Christians should act, but unfortunately, the way some stand for their beliefs is a bit more radical than the way others do. I acknowledge that I think I am right, and I realize that you probably think you are right. That is fine. I can’t control what you are willing to believe, but I want you to know that I am more open to learning new things now, more than ever. I cannot promise I will agree with everything you ever decide, do, or believe, but I can tell you I will do my best to not make you feel hated for it. 

Now, I don’t know what to do with all of this information or how to make a difference with it, but I’ve been thinking about event planning in the church. Church: we need to get creative. It’s time to stop ordering pizzas to get youth to come to church. It’s time to get more excited about hearing the gospel than about free food. It’s time to start pushing for a relationship with Jesus and not for a religion that’s convenient when necessary. It’s time to keep each other honest and accountable, and stop hiding from current events. It’s time to speak up, and not cower in the corner. I’m sick of observing and cowering and watching my life go by because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the lawsuits, the finger pointing, the name calling, the media, and everything else that comes with being brave. I honestly don’t even like the idea of working for a church because I don’t know if I would ever be able to support a family that way; but, I do know that something has to change, and so far as I can tell, no one is being brave. 

You’re Braver than You Think

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this little saying recently. Yes, it’s a bit random, but when it comes to anxiety and depression, I feel like people look at us (people with mental health problems) differently in that we must be so “strong” or so “brave.” Of course, these things are not bad, and are usually intended to be taken as compliments, but my mind also wanders and begs the question, “Why do I have to be the strong one?” and/or “What makes me so brave, exactly?”

I don’t remember what it’s like to live without fear; I was only about 8 or 9 years old before I had my first panic attack. I guess the bravery people are referring to is just being able to go throughout my day without panicking? See to me, this feels detrimental to my personality. I want to be brave by following God’s command to go somewhere and be a light. I don’t want to be brave because I didn’t cower in the corner of my room and think about everything that could go wrong over the course of my day. I want to be brave because I took a leap of faith when I accepted an entry level job; not because I didn’t forget to breathe. I want to be strong because I didn’t fall into the temptation to gossip about my coworker today; not because I held back the tears from the overwhelming amount of people actually surrounding me on the job. I want to be strong because I shared my testimony after being led by the Holy Spirit to do so; not because of the stigma centered around people with anxiety.

So tell me what the definition is of “strong” and “brave” because when I hear these things, I become a little confused. I know they mean well, and I understand their intention. You don’t have to have the same mental crises that I do everyday to earn your bravery card or your strength card. Pray during your time of struggle. Stay accountable, honest, humble, and kind and follow your convictions. Resist the temptation to do that thing you always go back to. Pick up your Bible and read a chapter. Just one. (I’m going to go do this now, because if we’re being honest, this is the hardest thing for me to do!) And while we’re being honest, I encourage you to do the same thing, because honesty is not only the best policy (LOL) but one of the most respectable and brave things a woman (or man) can do. There are women just like you and me struggling with all sorts of different things; not just depression or anxiety. If one of them steps up and confesses, then another won’t feel so alone in her struggle and will find more motivation to seek help and acquire a peace that she hasn’t felt in a long time.Habakkuk 3:19

When I was a little girl, I hated staying overnight at places that weren’t my own home. I used to cry and scream in the middle of the night just out of fear and separation from what I knew. I don’t remember if someone told me this, or if I just realized it one night. God could have very well revealed Himself to my 11-year-old self, but I remember thinking, Jennifer, you are not the only one awake right now. There are people across the world who aren’t sleeping. You’re not alone. To this day, if I’m having some sleep/night anxiety, this is the only thought and concept that calms me down and helps me rest.

This peace: that feeling of calmness and realization that you’re not alone, is something that we (gadgirls) have to make a priority in finding. You are already strong and brave without your anxiety disorder or your depression. Find your peace, take a breathe, and truly go live to be even braver and even stronger.

I want to end this post with a song instead of a verse tonight (or this morning if you’re a morning reader J ) If you attend church or listen to Christian radio, I have no doubt you have heard and have fallen in love with this song. If not, then give it a listen. It’s i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e. I promise.

 

If you’ve finished reading this post, and you liked what you read; if you haven’t already, please follow, like, and/or subscribe to my blog. I have so many things I want to do and so many young women like you I want to reach and I can’t do it without you! God bless you today and forevermore!

xoxo, Jennifer

The Taylor Swift Tag

Rules: Post the lyrics that remind you the most about your ex…(s) and share 🙂 I made this tag up as of 5 minutes ago, so if you feel inspired, go ahead and do your own!

The goal of this tag is not to bash all of the boys you’ve ever dated. It’s to help girls around the world grieve their losses and heartbreaks. A lot of people are mean (ironic) when it comes to Taylor Swift because she is inspired primarily from her past relationships. Well I want to encourage you to grieve. We aren’t supposed to hold our feelings in. That’s what causes depression. I realize that excessive Taylor Swift binging is unhealthy when you’re angry, but typing out the lyrics will help a little bit, promise. So I’ll go first, but I want to address my exes real quick before this might go viral. (and I hope it does 😉 so go ahead, do your tag, and share!)

Exes: I don’t hate you…well maybe one of you. LOL jk I’m a Christian, I can’t say that, but Jesus loves you more than I do, that’s for sure. This is not aimed to diss you, to start drama, or bring up our past. This is for the girls I’m trying to reach, and it’s for me, to help me grieve. These relationships were a while ago; one feels like a whole lifetime ago, nonetheless, each of you made a different impact on my life, good and bad, and sometimes I can’t sit here and forgive and forget. I have to cry it out. I’m crazy remember? 😉 Anyways, let’s go girls!

For the purpose of personal privacy and for the reputation of my exes their names will be numbers. 😀

Ex #1

You, with your switching sides and your wildfire lies and your humiliation; you have pointed out my flaws again as if I don’t already see them. I walk with my head down trying to block you out ‘cause I’ll never impress you. I just wanna feel okay again. (am I allowed to add the all you are is mean….and a liar….and pathetic…and alone in life, and MEAN). K continue.

I hate that stupid old pickup truck you never let me drive. You’re a redneck heartbreak who’s really bad at lying. So watch me strike a match on all my wasted time. As far as I’m concerned you’re just another picture to burn.

I knew you were trouble when you walked in. So shame on me now flew me to places I’d never been ’til you put me down

We are never EVER EVER getting back together, like ever. 

You ask me for my love then you push me around. Here’s to you and your temper. Yes, I remember what you said last night. And I know that you see what you’re doing to me, Tell me why. 

Better Than Revenge got me through this relationship. The lyrics are clever, but I’ll let you look them up this time 😉

Ex #2

So this is me swallowing my pride standing in front of you saying I’m sorry for that night, and I go back to December all the time.

Never wanted this, never wanna see you hurt. Every little bump in the road I tried to swerve. People are people, and sometimes it doesn’t work out, Nothing we say is gonna save us from the fall out.

Spinning like a girl in a brand new dress, We had this big wide city all to ourselves. We blocked the noise with the sound of ‘I need you’, And for the first time I had something to lose, And I guess we fell apart in the usual way. And the story’s got dust on every page.

Ex #3

I’m not a princess, this ain’t a fairy tale, I’m not the one you’ll sweep off her feet, Lead her up the stairwell. This ain’t Hollywood, this is a small town, I was a dreamer before you went and let me down, Now it’s too late for you and your white horse to come around. 

Band-aids don’t fix bulletholes. You say sorry just for show. You live like that you live with ghosts. 

The entire set of lyrics from All Too Well, but specifically, (scream along with me) MAYBE WE GOT LOST IN TRANSLATION MAYBE I ASKED FOR TOO MUCH BUT MAYBE THIS THING WAS A MASTERPIECE TILL YOU TORE IT ALL UP. HEY YOU CALL ME UP AGAIN JUST TO BREAK ME LIKE A PROMISE SO CASUALLY CRUEL IN THE NAME OF BEING HONEST IM A CRUMPLED UP PIECE OF PAPER LYING HERE CAUSE I REMEMBER IT ALL TOO WELL

also the entire lyrical masterpiece of enchanted

Looking so innocent I might believe you if I didn’t know. Could’ve loved you all my life If you hadn’t left me waiting in the cold. And you got your share of secrets And I’m tired of being last to know. And now you’re asking me to listen Cause it’s worked each time before.

And time, is taking its sweet time erasing you, And you’ve got your demons, and darling they all look like me

Didn’t they tell us don’t rush into things? Didn’t you flash your green eyes at me? Haven’t you heard what becomes of curious minds? Ooh didn’t it all seem new and exciting? I felt your arms twisting around me. I should’ve slept with one eye opened at night.

All I know is I don’t know how to be something you miss. I never thought we’d have a last kiss. Your name, forever the name on my lips.

And finally, to my current boyfriend, I love you. Thank you for being all the happy songs in my life. You lift my feet off the ground, you spin me around, you make me crazier ❤

*featured header image is brought to you by Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris’ couple vacay. They are goals. That is all*

For the “Emotionally Unstable”

Emotionally Unstable? Does this have a negative connotation? I’m just a bit confused because I thought I was allowed to be emotional. Recently, I’ve felt insulted, compromised, and as though something or someone else besides me is controlling how I feel. My first gut feeling when I hear those two words together is to scream “I am NOT emotionally unstable!! Who are you to market me as such?!”

Before I go any further I should fill you all in on recent life events. I haven’t posted in a while. I feel very guilty about it, because I know this is an outlet for some of you to relate to. I am sincerely sorry. I have been a bit emotionally unstable, and my mindset has convinced me that I am not “okay enough” to write. Well I’ve moved past that. It took me only one time of hearing “you’re a fake b****” and “you’re mental,” again to realize why I started this blog. So think of this post as me, an admittedly emotionally unstable sister (whatever that means), writing to you: an imperfectly perfect daughter of the King.

I have been waiting to write this post for a while now, and I don’t know what’s been holding me back, to be quite honest with you. Between the force of choosing sleep, homework, or hanging out with friends, blogging really just didn’t make the list. My mental state hasn’t been the best recently, and I don’t know if I’m overworked, over-tired, over-stressed, or all of the above. I feel a bit of depression seeping back into my bones and it scares me to the core. I hated being depressed, I’m doing everything in my power to try to prevent “that thing” from happening to me ever again, but as I write this, I’m realizing something. There’s not anything we can do to prevent the result of sin. (Depression, mental illness, anxiety, etc.) We’re human.

My father passed away 3 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that I’m completely past it and it doesn’t affect me anymore. Same with any hard break-up you’ve ever been through. Mine just happened to haunt me this week (See recent life events in 1st paragraph). It still affects me 5 years later! Death is a result of the fall, and not a single person is perfect, which is why break-ups are inevitable.

the reality is you will grieve forever. You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same again. Not should you be the same nor should you want to. -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Ladies, we expect too much of ourselves! Here’s what I think is happening: the thing that bothers me the most that is being promoted in society today is the stereotypical “girl boss” if you will. Think of Sandra Bullock in The Proposal. She’s got her “ish” together, she can boss around whoever she wants, “she doesn’t need no man,” she makes tons of money and wears fancy suits, and doesn’t show an ounce of emotion and that’s what women are getting excited about. Sure, we deserve the ability to be able to have such a position in a company, and sure, I’m all about women’s rights, but I am NOT about, and will NOT tolerate the impression that in order to be successful and professional and have my “ish” together, I have to be an emotionless sack of cells walking around like I own the place, entitled to whatever amount of money I can possibly make in a lifetime. Sorry, that’s not what God created this woman to be. (To see more on how to be the best woman for God you can be, read Proverbs 31).

Statistically, women express emotion more than men. This is not to say that men don’t express emotion or that some men are not more emotional than women. I get it, we’re all different, okay, so hear me out?

It just really sucks that the standard for women is becoming so high, that we have to almost change our nature to reach a point of social acceptability. I’m sorry, I will never be emotionless, and I will care about other people’s feelings. I believe the success of any company comes from physically and mentally healthy employees. There needs to be a degree of routine, control, and work ethic of course, but the “girl boss” that is blooming in American culture today is not a pretty picture of how a woman should work. Do not underestimate the way God can use you, and the way he built you to be.

I’m just trying to say that being “emotionally unstable” is going to happen at some point in your life no matter how put together you think you are. It could be for a week, it could be for 5 years, but God has a plan for your life. I’m writing this with a bit of hate in my heart, not going to lie. Majoring in business administration has been one heck of a ride. I am not your typical business woman and I never plan to be. I don’t want to be someone that I’m not, but I do want to strive for success as much as I can. Take the business part out and I am just a woman. I am allowed to cry, laugh, and get angry. I know my boundaries, and I know the boundaries put before me in a work environment. What I choose to express on my time is between me, myself, and I. America, culture, and society need to stop telling us that we are the weaker person grieving, being a bit more emotional than usual. They need to stop telling us that we will never be successful, that we’re fake, mental, and unable to control our emotions.

Please join me in taking the masks off. We need to be vulnerable so that others will know that they’re not alone. Maybe you have a boss who is a woman who seems pretty tough on the outside. Ask her how her day is going. Talk about the picture you see on her desk. Maybe you have a classmate who you know is getting straight A’s, and always looks beautiful on the outside. I encourage you to do the same thing. Ask her how her day is going. These women seem unapproachable most of the time, but I dare you to break down that wall. God knows we all need some of that demolition in our lives.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 ESV

Defeated

I don’t know about ya’ll but I have good days and bad days, emotionally and spiritually. Today had all of the implications of being a good day, but somehow it just didn’t make the cut. I treated myself to things today; but that’s just it…they were just material things. The thing is, (sorry for the excessive use of the word thing, it’s only 11pm) before I knew Christ, I mean really knew Christ, material things satisfied me. I  could treat myself to some retail therapy and I’d be the happiest little five-foot-three girl walking around the mall there was.

Today was just the opposite. Of course in the moment I was enjoying myself, and I was with a dear girlfriend today so I enjoyed that fellowship time with her, but as soon as the worldly high was over, I was defeated. I overindulged on the things of the world today. Moderation is Biblical ya’ll and sometimes, especially as an entitled y-generation baby myself, we forget that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Proverbs 25:16 says, “if you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it, and vomit it.” Well I have vomited it, and it doesn’t feel good. Here I sit with shopping bags on the floor, freshly painted nails, and a dead spirit. I am sick with a fever from the indulgence and infatuation over things most people could only dream of receiving. I am blessed and I forgot. I am rich and I forgot. I didn’t have enough to fill my cup today. Lord help me and others with a mind like me to see You to fill our cups and not things.

The world tells us, women especially, that beauty and status comes from stuff and…you guessed it…things. I have two questions for you. What did you seek today for happiness? Did you seek the Word? Did you pray? Or did you go to the mall and blow half of your paycheck on things. Did you help someone today? Did you buy someone a drink at Starbucks? Or did you spend an hour on Pinterest eyeing the things you don’t have yet. (For more conviction about social media, see Viewer Discretion Advised.) These are hard questions, but if you spent money on yourself today, I can almost guarantee you’re sitting in the same funk that I am. I wrote down some of the emotions I was feeling after today and I wanted to share them:

Sad, lonely, down, dull, scatterbrained, nonexistent, disgusting, and defeated.

As soon as I wrote down the word defeated, I knew there was something to share with you guys. There’s the connotation of the word defeated that I’ve been using throughout this post, and then there’s Biblical defeat, and I want to talk to you about Biblical defeat for a brief moment. One has a negative connotation and one has a positive connotation.

One of the reasons that the Word of God is available to us is to learn how to defeat the enemy, who is Satan. When we feel defeated, we need to defeat Satan in return. Satan got us into this mess and two can play the defeat game as long as God is on our side. James 4:7 is a verse I’ve been meditating on recently, especially with my battle against anxiety. It simply says, “…Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Every time I feel an attack approaching I recite this verse in my head. It’s a reminder and a plea. We will never be defeated as long as we resist the devil. We are also given the armor of God that protects us and heightens our fight against the devil. (See Ephesians 6:10-18)

We have all of the means necessary to remain undefeated in this life God has gifted to us, but sometimes, and I suspect, you, like me, will fall into the worldly trap of buying things and envying things to potentially cure your search for happiness. Loved one, let this be a reminder that you will not find your happiness there; only defeat.

*(If you need further biblical proof that overindulgence of a good thing is a bad thing see 1 Cor. 9:25, Gal. 5:13., & 1 Tim. 6:10)

*(Other good verses on defeat: Luke 10:19, Rom. 8:38-39, 1 John 4:4, Isaiah 54:17)

Seeing God in the Panic

Today I was reminded of the reason I started this blog. I was actually on a superb streak of having no recent panic attacks…until today…at work…in front of coworkers and customers. I had forgotten the humiliation, embarrassment, and remorse that goes through your head when someone asks you, “what’s wrong?” and all you can say is, “I’m having a panic attack.” I’m always scared that one person is going to think that this is not a legitimate reason to step away from work. Fortunately my coworkers took great care of me and I recovered within 10 minutes.

Sorry, this post is going to be a bit random and more personal than usual, I just need to get my thoughts out about how my day went because I was shocked at how my body responded to life today. Anxiety is shocking to me, but not because it feels like I’m the only one suffering from it anymore, but because I never realize how stressed I am until the attack happens. Today, I experienced a new symptom to the attack and my body went numb, especially my face. For the past 2 days I have been eating a bit healthier and working out. My stomach began to feel super weird and I thought my body was just cleansing from all the junk I had eaten before. Turns out, I had just been trying to conquer too much in one day. I was really proud of myself. I woke up early, even did my hair (which by the way is super thick and not even worth doing half the time, ya feel me??)! I went to class, I went to the library, I celebrated a friend’s birthday, I went to the gym, got dinner, and drove to work. Are you guys tired from reading that sentence?! I sure am. I didn’t realize how much I had accomplished in 7 hours until my body shut down.

The next thing I want to tell you guys is what I realized through the entire situation. God is on my side. My anxiety (and yours too!) is not from God, it’s from the devil. In the moment, when I was numb, I felt as though I was dying, and that’s what most anxiety attacks feel like. Satan wants us to believe that we can handle everything on our own and we don’t need God’s help to get through the day. Low and behold, I had been having a good spiritually inclined day with God and was being obedient to what He had been urging my heart to do. (I don’t say this to be all “holier than thou,” I just want to prove a point.) Satan attacks us when we are doing our best work for the Lord!! I will tell you, ever since I started this blog, I have been attacked from all sides. It is through those attacks that I have learned to say mini prayers to God each day. I don’t think you have to pray one large prayer every morning or night. Most of the time I go about it in little prayers throughout the day. If I see an ambulance go by, for example, I pray that wherever it’s going that it gets there on time and that the person who needs it is healed in Jesus’ name, if His will be done. Again, this is not a holier than thou statement, just an encouragement. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “pray without ceasing.”I don’t think this means pray 24 hours of every day; it means seek God in everything you do, and stop to take moments to thank him, talk to him, and worship him. If you can sit down for 24 hours and pray to God, then go for it! But I challenge every one of you, GADgirls, to say a mini prayer, and you will feel the presence of God even in the midst of a panic attack.

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