dear younger me: stay strong

Dear younger me,
Where do I start? If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far, then you could be one step ahead of all the painful memories still running thru my head. I wonder how much different things would be….

Dear younger me,
I cannot decide. Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life, or do I go deep and try to change the choices that you’ll make, ’cause they’re choices that made me. Even though I love this crazy life, sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride….

You are holy, you are righteous, you are one of the redeemed. Set apart, a brand new heart – you are free indeed! Every mountain, every valley, through each heartache you will see every moment brings you closer to who you were meant to be.

(Mercy Me, “Dear Younger Me”)

Dear younger me,

If you could read this, it wouldn’t change anything. Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and tell you that you can’t do just one scrape and stop. I wish I could tell you not to blame yourself for the deaths that weren’t within your control. But then I realize that some of the choice you’ll make were the choices that strengthened me and developed my character and my faith in God. So, it will be a rough ride, but your choices will make you who you were made to be. Keep fighting, because God will start making your brokenness into something beautiful. I know you can’t see it now, but one day you will.

There is something you need to know. It gets worse first. It’s going to get way worse. You will create a living nightmare with images that haunt you every day. It will feel like it can’t get worse… but it does. At one you will break and come really close to ending your life, but that night God will work a miracle. After that night, you’ll realize that suicide is not an option.

After that, you will start really fighting everything and really trying to get better. Things will get much, much worse. You will hurt so much that you will wish you could escape from your own head. You will end up fighting several bad coping mechanisms all at once. You will live every day praying to make it to the next day without hurting yourself. You will burst into tears at random points in the day, because the pain is too much to keep inside. You will have to leave classes for 5-10 minutes to re-collect yourself. You will become terrified of being alone in lab because of the scalpels and razor blades in the room. But you will keep fighting, and things will slowly get better.

One more thing. You are not in control. There is Someone out there who is way bigger and way stronger. He got this. So, Grandma and your friends and everything else that you wanted to control — put it into God’s hands. I’m still working on that, and it’s easier said than done. But just know this: you are not in control, and it is totally ok. You don’t need to be in control, because God is. He has got everything figured out, so just rest in Him.

Right now, it still hurts almost every day. I still wish I could bring Grandma back. I still struggle with the temptation to hurt myself. I still struggle with the temptation to skip meals. But I know that God is here. The pain is real, but it is temporary. God is real. Hold onto Him. Stay strong.

Just a note from the older you.

daniel 1, part 2

So, on Tuesday, I talked about Daniel. Now, let’s take a look at Nebuchadnezzar.

First, we need some background information. Egypt and Babylon were at war, and Israel was allies with Egypt. So, Babylon, under the command of King Nebuchadnezzar, attacked Egypt and Jerusalem (the capital of Israel). Because Israel was being disobedient to God with idol worship and other sins, God allowed Babylon to take some Israelites captive as a punishment.” And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God” (vs 2).

Here is some personal speculation. Nebuchadnezzar was the king of this massive empire. He probably thought he was in control. He thought he was doing just as he wanted. Um, sorry, but no.

What he had was given to him by God (vs 2). If God had not allowed it, Israel would not have been overtaken by Babylon, and the Israelites would not have been taken captive. Also, he probably didn’t know about the water and vegetables diet. God blessed them, and he benefited from their wisdom. That was not the result of his order that they be taught. That was the consequence for their faith in Christ.

God is in control. God is always in control. Every beautiful and good thing that you have comes from Him (James 1:17). So you need to stop taking advantage of what you think you did on your own and give Him the credit.

**Keep in mind that some of this is my opinion based on the facts of the Bible but not totally rooted in Biblical truth. I would encourage you to read Daniel 1 for yourself.

i’ve lost control but i’m free

I’m standing knee deep but I’m out where I’ve never been
And I feel You coming and I hear Your voice on the wind
Would you come and tear down the boxes that I have tried to put You in
Let love come teach me who You are again
Would you take me back to the place where my heart was only about You
And all I wanted was just to be with You
Come and do whatever You want to
Then You crash over me and I’ve lost control but I’m free
I’m going under, I’m in over my head
Then you crash over me, and that’s where You want me to be
I’m going under, I’m in over my head
Whether I sink, whether I swim
It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head

In Over My Head – Bethel

It is a beautiful thing to be in over your head in God. I am sinking, I guess. I am daily surprised by His love and His greatness. Our God is so big. He can do anything. He can do the impossible. In reflection on this year, a lot has happened. I started hurting myself. I had hallucinations; my hallucination died. I started having nightmares and terrifying daydreams so realistic I’d wonder afterwards if they were real. I’ve had to question whether or not to switch churches. God showed up in my darkest places through the Bible, friends, my Bible study group, music, and just in the most random times and ways.

I wanted to control my life. And for a while I thought I could. But I can’t. And I was a fool for thinking I could. I needed to let go. And that’s hard. With anxiety, that is hard. It is so easy to think that control is the best and only good approach. But it isn’t. Trusting God is. And so I am so slowly losing my control. And that’s ok. That’s good. It is good because even though I am not in control, I know that the one who is in control is always good and never makes mistakes. And yes, there are still days when I want to take over. But I’ve been learning to let it all go. I’ve been learning to let His will be done. Because it is only through doing His will that I find true joy and peace and the hope I need to fight for tomorrow.

Wherever you are, even if reflecting on this year is painful for you, know that God is there. He always has been, and He always will be. To those who trust in Him, He will never let you go.