My husband has always been a type of hoarder. Usually nothing gets thrown away because he might need it. His Dad was the same way. It never fails when we start cleaning together and I throw something away, he comes looking for it a few weeks later. “That’s why I don’t like to throw things away, because I know someday I will need it,” he will tell me.
I have recycled an old double sink and other containers into planters. We have recycled pallets into boardwalks, decks and above ground planters. We have purchased old campers, gutted them and made them look like new. We have refinished old furniture and old toys making them useful again. I have to admit I enjoy finding new uses from old things thanks to my amazing husband.
Recently I found something that I didn’t realize needed to be recycled. With the Cornona Virus our lives have pretty much ground to a halt. In the beginning I looked forward to time at home. I deep cleaned my house, my cupboards, my closets and even the refrigerator and freezer. Then I started baking and cooking old fashioned meals that I hadn’t done for years, sometimes sharing them with family and friends. I did extra Bible studies, went for walks to get the mail and did some knitting. Loneliness set in as I missed fellowship with friends and family and especially the hugs I love to give and receive. An exciting day out quickly became a trip to the grocery store or to the local church for their food ministry. I found old thoughts creeping into my brain.
“You aren’t good enough. No one calls to check on you because they don’t like you. You will never amount to anything. Why do you even try? You give and give and give and get nothing in return. They don’t respect you, they don’t appreciate you, and they don’t even love you. You are so stupid, that was dumb of me, I don’t look very good, I am too fat. I wish I could be like her.” These were just some of the one liner thoughts that would pop in my head. They began slowly but more and more frequently. Some days I could feel myself being pulled down into a deep dark hole. Part of being a victim includes the abuser making sure there is very low or even no self-esteem left in that person. I thought it had been years since my abuse had ended, but had it? When I allowed the words of my abuser back into my head, they still had control even though they weren’t even on this earth anymore.
As I was praying to be lifted out of the darkness, the Lord showed me that my mind needed to be recycled just like all those old things that had been repurposed over the years. My thoughts needed to be cleansed and given a new direction. The enemy wants nothing more than to keep me doubting myself and who God created me to be. What does the Bible say about me? Isn’t that the only thing that is important, what God thinks of me?
I John 2:12 says I am forgiven because of the precious blood Jesus spilled for me. I need to remember that and to accept that forgiveness instead of crucifying myself over and over.
Hebrews 13:5 says I am never alone. He will never leave more or forsake me. He was there with me before, during and after my abuse.
Phil 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus! All, not some or a few but all, including healing from difficult days when the enemy tried to silence me.
Romans 8:1 says “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If God isn’t going to condemn me then I shouldn’t condemn myself for my past.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” His plans for me are perfect and he has new plans for me every day!
John 10:28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall NEVER perish, no one will snatch them out of my hand.” The enemy can try to snatch me but Christ already has the victory. The enemy is defeated!
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells me I am a new creation in Christ and the old is gone, the new is here!
Romans 8:17 says that I am an heir of God and co-heirs with Christ because I am a child of God.
Ephesians 2:10 tells me I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. He loves me so much he has a purpose for me and knew that purpose even before I was born!
Ephesians 2:6 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” God doesn’t raise up worthless trash, I am special in his sight, called and have a purpose of living this life.
Matthew 25:34 God loved me before the creation of the world! He loved me so much he sent his son Jesus to die for my sins!
Ephesians 1:5 God adopted me as his child. He is my father by His choice!
These are the truths that need to be recycled into my brain. The Bible is clear that it is the Word that leads us into all truth; that is what is important. My brain is the battleground and there are days that it is hard to recycle my thoughts, my images of myself because of what other people have said about me.
Lord, recycle my thoughts and help me to focus on what your Word says about me. Redeem the time that all those untruths were planted in my being. Show me myself through your eyes. Help me to forgive my abusers and others who inadvertently the enemy used to lower my self-esteem and worth. Be the light in my dark thoughts, pull me close to you and remind me that I am your precious child, created for your purpose, loved and forgiven by you. Use what has happened in my past to your glory. Show me how to share your love and healing with others that may have gone through the same thing. Recycle me Lord for your glory. Amen.
By Lilly B.
Mother, Survivor, Child Advocate, Writer, and Blogger for A.C.T. United