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Last night I had the most crippling spiritual attack I’ve had in a long time.

A series of events and circumstances had lead me to an emotional breaking point, and with the aid of the enemy I succeeded in tearing myself down far beyond I thought I was capable at this point in my life.

I felt like God hated me. I felt like His anger burned and shook at the very foundation of my existence. I sat on the bathroom floor broken and devastated by my many failures. By the time I wasted in my life. By the fact that beyond all redemption I still felt the pull to destroy myself entirely in every possible way- because I deserve it. I deserve to be unloved, hated, in pain, forgotten, rotting behind fake concepts I can’t live up to- I deserved to die. Miserable and alone. Because I wasn’t made to do anything of worth, or be anything of worth. I stared at my ugly, pathetic self in the mirror with a fierce and fiery rage against myself. Such a deep and wild self loathing that I was still all too familiar with.

I need a change.

Something I’ve been telling myself for a long time now- I need a change. To change. THE change. I need a transformation.

All my life has been spent remaining almost motionless. I don’t really mean this in the physical sense, but in the fact that I go nowhere, do basically nothing, and that all the things that were so important to me I neglected.

But God is fixing those things, and a part of being repaired, I need to be repainted.

Last night I was up until midnight. I hadn’t been to church in 8 weeks because I was sick and our van is broken. But then again, I never really made it a priority to ask my dad if he would take me with him, early when he goes for band practice because I was too tired from spending the previous day doing…nothing. However, in my desperation last night I knew that I needed to go. I had no one else to run to. The bumps, scratches and even the carved out pieces of myself that God had to remove or repair hurt- and I wasn’t able to deal with the pain on my own. I needed to go. I’m glad I did.

I woke up somewhat reluctantly, and found clothes. Even still debating on whether or not I should really go. Finally I found myself putting on clothes and heading upstairs to do my makeup and fix my hair. When I got to church I read “Captivating” for a good long while. I got through a chapter and a half and OH GOSH did the Lord speak- But I’ll get to that in my next post.

I fought sleep. I’m not one to fall asleep in public places but Oh Lord, I was struggling. It was a fatigue I have experienced only a few times in my life. With mono, and with extreme depression- It wasn’t coming from my lack of sleep.

Finally the sermon started and I made sure to listen intently. I needed God. I needed Him to talk to me. I was thirsty. So I listened, and soon found myself taking noted in my journal that I brought with me for notes on “captivating”.

John, our preacher, then began. It appears in my absence there was a series-  on “words”. He began by saying “Perseverance”. The topic of today’s sermon and the last in the series. Perseverance of PRINCIPAL- that is, the principals of a Christian.This was exactly what I was searching for.

He began with the first of three words that we were going to cover that described aspects of perseverance.

-Failure-

“As soon you begin to put principal into your life, you’re going to fail”

I have gone through many small transformations in my spiritual life. I’ve realized my faults in a lot of things and have since worked on changing them. However I never dealt with the root issue. Behind all of the deep sins there was a selfishness I had not seen. A longing, and a misunderstanding of myself and others, that caused me to despair. Only now am I beginning to find the real problem, and eliminate it from my being. But just like a surgery removing and replacing a faulty organ- it hurts, and recovery is often quite difficult.

I have failed. I have failed so much and I continue to fail. I feel as though the years in my life up till now have been a complete waste. Like George Bailey running drunk through his “crummy measly old town”, last night I was drunk in sorrow and grief running around the crummy and measly thoughts that still linger of all that I’ve wasted in my life. All that I wanted to be but felt I couldn’t be, because I wasn’t enough. As if, I was never meant to be enough. In my weeping I knew this was a lie, and yet I felt this physical and emotional pain in the deepest of my heart, mind and stomach. As if everything that had ever hurt me suddenly was brought back to life to devour me from within. (This may sound pathetic and dramatic- but when you’re spiritually attacked and swallowed by your own uncontrolled thoughts mimed by something other than you, it tends to feel a lot more real than it is…the uncontrolled thoughts was where I made my big mistake.)

The failures in our lives look larger the closer we get to God (or so we let them appear). As we make our path more and more narrow, the sides of the road look a lot more ugly than they did in the past. So all the footprints we can look back on in the dirt off the road are reminders of how pathetic we can be as sinful beings. Lately my path has been narrowing- I’m walking straight and working on finding my direction. And so, at the same time, those past failures hurt more than they did when I first repented… Though, however often we as Christians may deal with this, the way I handled it was NOT right.

Perseverance says; “even when I fail I will continue to pursue my principals”. I was not persevering. Nor was I pursuing my principals.

The transformation I need? Forgiveness is supposed to transform the way we live. Because forgiveness is functional. I’m not forgiving myself. I’m accepting forgiveness from God or others. I’m denying what God did on the cross for me, but not accepting it… Just thinking about how bad that must make God feel hurts me…

The  key is to adopt principals far beyond your reach, to teach you perseverance. Last night I wanted to throw in the towel thinking I wasn’t ever meant to be a good girl. That is I felt loved by no one, how could God love me? ME?! OF ALL PEOPLE?! So I thought, “what am I doing? I can’t be that good…” …Lie.

REAL failure is keeping your principals within arms reach. Because perseverance of those principals teaches forgiveness. It teaches maturity, and it teaches trust. The fact of the matter is, lowering the bar for myself and not accepting forgiveness is doing exactly the opposite of what I want to do. It mocks my God’s sacrifice, and denies His beautiful love for us. Just how I feel when it seems as though I am unloved.

The second word that we explored was

-Focus-

The things in life can turn our focus from what we are actually trying to focus on. – That made very little sense upon reading it quickly. Basically the world is full of distractions. And while we think we are doing the right thing, that is not always the case. In my situation, beating myself up for things and not accepting forgiveness was my distraction. I have such a hard time focusing on things- even normal every day things. Why? Because I don’t make them a priority for myself. I don’t try to make things stick to the forefront of my mind. I should be asking myself each day “What do I need to put into today, to make this GOD’S day?” I need to refocus.

The third word is

-Fatigue-

Sometimes we get real tired of doing this thing called “Following God”. Why? Because very little people are actually doing it. Most of the time they are church go-ers that say what they need to say then go home and do Lord knows what. So in persevering we often are discouraged.When we do good, it is often unnoticed (as it should be in humility…but still, sometimes it seems as though it’s pointless).

As our preacher talked about fatigue and the fatigue he feels sometimes in his walk with God, I got to thinking. I’m tired. I really am. I’m very very tired. Of what? Well not an isolated something…more of a lot of somethings that are all causing stress. Perhaps mostly because I beat myself up for things of the past instead of moving forward and using them…that’s tiring to be sure.

Well, despite the fatigue… We’re to keep going. As I sat listening, wondering how I was going to accomplish something that looked so huge, my pastor said suddenly. “You can do this.”

He then told a story. His son David is a marine, and recently ran a marine corps marathon. He had never ran in a marathon before, but read in a book that if you put your name on your shirt, people will cheer for you. So, being the fun guy that David is, he put “DAVE” in the biggest letters he could find on the front of the shirt. The streets were lined for the entire 22.5 mile run full of people that began cheering “GO DAVE! YEAH DAVE!”. They had no idea who “Dave” was…but still they cheered.

The point of this story, was this: Who’s name do you have on your shirt? Not literally ON your SHIRT. But, what do you obviously represent? What will people cheer you on for? We’re all running somewhere…what name do we want them to call us by? Because Failure when kept close is obvious. Focus when diverted is obvious. Fatigue is VERY obvious… So when we’re persevering, are we holding on to failure? Are we focusing on that failure? Are we focusing on fatigue??? Or are we focusing on God? Are we going to let satan trip us while we’re running because we’re busy looking at these things? Or are we going to focus on the road ahead with our names, not our problems written on our shirts? I want the angels, and whoever else to cheer for me. “Bailey”…not “Failure”, because that’s what I’m holding onto, and defining myself and my perseverance by.

I realize my thoughts have jumped and that this post is ridiculously long… but I needed to get it out. It’s probably to confusing to understand because it all came from my scattered brain which does not organize or articulate well. But, that’s what happened, and God definitely spoke to me this morning. My faith, and my hope is restored. ❤

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