Learning new lessons – the daily battle of stress

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It’s been a while, I realize that and without getting deep into the reasons, I’d like to simply continue this blog… Though not with the battle against stressors, but from the point of where I am today. The past blog entries was written to describe my journey from completely beaten down by satan to crawling and walking and learning to fight the stress battles.

Despite what the general public seem to believe a stress disorder is not something you recover from. Maybe eventually one day I’ll be able to say “Yes Lord – we did it!” – but it wasn’t me who did it, it was Him.

In my daily battle against stress I face the temptations satan lays out for me. It takes very little to shake my world and my weak point is my daughter. I know it, God knows it and unfortunately satan is fully aware of it as well. I try my best… to not let it get to me, but I try on my own effort and that fails. All the time. I end up crying for little or no reason – not even the feeling of sadness – it’s just my body saying “I’m tired of fighting this for you”. It’s my cue to lay it in the hands of God.

I recently read the book by Lysa TerKeurst called “Unglued” and though it’s not a stress book at all actually, it’s the best one I have read so far. It gives step-by-step instructions on how to handle yourself when you become unglued – or like me, feel the stress and tension sneaking in. One of those steps includes the reminder of “Don’t forget who you are”!

Who am I? I’m a child of God and dearly loved! Since reading that book, I have reminded myself of that many times and it makes the difference: For there is power in His Name! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus… There is power in HIS name. Not mine and certainly no healing in satan’s name! I received a true sword to fight with. And I also learned to remind myself that I can’t and shouldn’t be fighting this battle on my own. I’m HIS child and I am protected by HIS power.

Today, in my ever so busy schedule, the Lord is working. Last week as I exited a Bible study, I went and signed myself off next weeks class without even noticing it myself. This week, I have a “day off” and this morning I read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” together with a devotional that asked me to put my own name in instead of “love” (and where appropriate) and so I did… The Lord is teaching me new lessons!!

Am I – patient and kind? Do I envy, boast and am I proud? Do I rejoice with the truth, Do I always protect, trust, hope, persevere? As I began to pray I asked the Lord “Who do You want me to love today”? and He clearly answered “Yourself” for that is a part of the greatest commandment. I shook my head…. wait a minute – “Lord, myself??” Are we not supposed to love others and let them come first etc? Once again, the Lord spoke to my heart and said “You must learn to love yourself before you can love others”. After pondering that thought for a bit, I decided to lay down my to-do list for today (housework) and become Mary instead of Martha.

How do I love myself? And is it really so, that we can’t love others until we love ourselves? Again, the Lord came and eased my mind – Sure, anyone can love anyone on the outside. The difference is to love others from your heart. Can you do that? I sheepishly had to admit that I oftentimes pretend and smile (which is of course better than outwardly show signs of dislike toward anyone) but my heart isn’t in it. And why not… are they not deserving of my love as well as the love from the Master?? Of course, but if I myself do not feel deserving of my own love for myself, then how on earth would I love others – from the heart. Don’t miss that last bit: It has to be from the heart!! There will be people I can’t love no matter how hard I try, and that’s where His spirit will be strongest in me and I will find – that I can’t not love them! Or I will find that the Lord is leading me away from that particular person! Either way, His spirit will do the job.

But I must work on how to love myself. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”. I love the Lord and I know He loves me… but I still need to remind myself that I’m His child and dearly loved. I still can’t understand why on earth He loves me with all these faults and failures I come with, not to mention my ever present nasty stress battles. I have come to understand this much:

I must accept He loves me unconditionally (which basically makes me weep). I must accept that I love Him and though I want to show my love by obeying His commandments I will always fall short (and stop beating myself up about it). I must love myself before I can love others. Until I can do that, the parts of another person I wish to admire or love, can too easily turn into envy. My to-do list for this day went from housework to heart work!

My list for today will have to be: What parts of me can I love about myself…

 

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