E – Entreat some TLC
Being at the “end of our rope” means different things to different people. For our daughter, AJ, it meant that she came to a place in which she can no longer do for herself. She was dependent on others to help her as a result of the multiple injuries she suffered through her traumatic rollover wreck. For me, it was emotional, and I too came to a point in which I had to be dependent on others as a result of the infidelity that rocked our marriage. Whether your “end of the rope” is physical or emotional, both intersect with each other and need to firmly grasp the spiritual hand or hands that reach out to us in our time of need.
“Behold! The Lord’s arm is not too short to save, nor His ear to dull to hear.” ~Isaiah 59:1
I don’t know what it is about us asking for help. Perhaps it is because many, like myself, were raised with a parent trying to toughen us up in love and say things like, “Come on, brush it off! You’ll be OK.”
Or, the fear of not being as together as others perceived us to be.
Or, maybe it’s the nagging whispers in our head that call out to us and utter our shortcomings and failures at our most vulnerable state that we struggle to prove wrong. The nagging whispers are relentless! They’re a self-induced guilt for not being who you wish to be, where you wish to be, how you wish to be, and when you wish to be.
As AJ lay there in her bed, she cried out to me from her burdensome traumatic injuries, “I hate being handicapped!”
And, my response to her was one that had been spoken so absolutely to me by precious loved ones many times before,
“GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE”
Some churches I have attended over the years and a dictionary definition of grace was defined as,
“God’s unmerited favor.”
Quite honestly that definition never really connected with my intellect or with my spirit. I have understood and experienced grace as defined by Joyce Meyer,
“Grace, God’s power to help us do whatever it is we need to do.”
I can remember the hours I poured over the scriptures and prayer in my “O” and “V” steps to becoming an Overcomer in one of my marriage trials. As I sat with my tear-streaked face in my own hospital bed, 6 weeks after our son’s birth and with a renal abscess diagnosis, my cellular phone rang. On the other line was a homeschool mom who knew our family for a short time and had heard that I had been hospitalized and she said, “Laurie, I am organizing meals from the homeschool group for your family. We just want you to know that we are here for you in whatever you need. We are praying for you and we love you.”
That homeschool mom, along with many others in that group, are some of my dearest friends who all became a solid support team for my family and I in our trials.
“Share each other’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” ~Galatians 6:2
To give yourself some grace is to grasp the spiritual hand(s) being extended in your direction in your time of need. It’s the accepting of the blessings that God gives to you through Himself and others. They share the burden with you so you can do whatever it is you NEED to do – which is to HEAL and get stronger. In this, we have nothing in and of ourselves in which to repay the acts of love and generosity. Only that we accept and recognize that in our need and weakness, He is caring for us and many times using others in the process.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for MY power is perfected in weakness.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9
Giving yourself grace also means that you are gentle with yourself as you heal by not trying to take on too much. It means that you clearly discern what needs to be done and minimize the stress of all that doesn’t need to be done “Right Now! There are things that CAN and should wait, and your support team can help you see the priorities more clearly. When you give yourself some TLC and grace, you can then move on to the next step as an Overcomer, remove the dirt.
R – Remove the Dirt
Most know that when you get a cut, or you undergo major surgeries like AJ, you must keep your wound clean to avoid infection. Similarly, when you are healing from an emotional wound, you must be careful to remove the dirt to avoid infection.
“For as a man thinks in his heart (within himself), so is he.” ~Proverbs 23:7
I wish someone had told me earlier that I didn’t need to think, dwell on, and believe every thought that dropped into my mind. Yes, when I was younger I allowed my abusers to define who I was and they would say things like, “You’re no good. You’re useless. You’re never going to have/be… You’ll always be like… You deserve…”
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those that love it will eat its fruits.” ~Proverbs 18:21
They spoke very abusive lies that crippled me for years, crushing my spirit. I would repeatedly mull the lies over in my head only to find that they were making me feel worse about myself, and it negatively tainted my view of the world and others. Sometimes the enemy gets one to feel so bad about themselves that they want to hurt themselves or take their life. I have been there too, several times. I thank God that I was too chicken to go through with it.
As I got older, God brought positive people and reinforcements in my life, some by way of the positive thinking movement and motivational speakers. Some might argue that God wouldn’t do that, but I choose to believe that God spoke to me in a way that would get my attention. Although the speakers may not have all been believers, He used them to teach me how to think differently, speak positively, and see the positive (blessings) in my life. It was a game changer for me. In fact, it was a heart changer for me because it gave me hope where I once thought to have had none. God then led me to the church in which I laid it all down before Him, accepting Him as my Savior. I began the process of renewing my mind by believing what God says about me and my ability to be an Overcomer in my trials. In overcoming my abusers, I was blessed with many other lives that I wouldn’t have had the pleasure to know and have in my life if I had continued to believe the lies of the enemy, or if I had taken my own life.
And do NOT be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you prove what is that good and well pleasing and perfect desire of God. ~Romans 12:2
Renewing your mind means that YOU CHOOSE to not take in the evil and/or believe the lies that have been spoken over you by yourself, the world, or others. It is God and His Word that empowers us to push past the negative, have hope for our future, and embrace the positive in our trials.
“And having gone out, Jesus saw a large crowd and was moved with compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many matters.” ~Mark 6:34
I believe that he told them encouraging and empowering truths.
I believe he dispelled the lies of the enemy by giving them life-saving truths.
I believe He cemented hope in their hearts with the strength and positive mindset to carry on in their trials.
During AJ’s trial I was able to share the truths of God’s Word with her and remind her that each stage of her healing is temporary. But, this applies to our daily routines, our stages in life, our children’s education and maturity into adulthood, our careers, our health, etc.
It’s. All. Temporary.
And, we must learn to move with it and not stay fixed in our circumstances with defeated or limited mindsets and attitudes. In so doing, we forfeit our chance to be an Overcomer,
“But we ALL, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory (one degree of glory to another). For this comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” ~2 Corinthians 3:18
It is God who overcame for me/us, that our daughters, our sons, our marriage, – and all of YOU can each be vessels of hope for others as we have overcome and continue to overcome through Him.
Next Post in Scarred for Life Series: Dress in Your Mess and Get Moving!