When I was a little girl, I loved to play Hide and Seek. I lived in a neighborhood where there were lots of kids to play with and that game was one of our favorites. I challenged myself to find the best hiding places so no one could find me. We lived across the street from a high school football stadium and it proved to be the best place to play that game. It was supposed to be off limits for me to go there because my parents couldn’t keep an eye on me. Of course, I had to hide there because there was an element of danger in doing so. I remember hearing my Mom calling for me to come home, but I would stay and hide because the game wasn’t over yet.
When I began counseling, I discovered that I had been hiding most of my life. There were situations, feelings, emotions and questions that I was afraid to confront. I became a great actress in order to hide what was going on inside of me. I became very performance driven. My worth came from what I was able to accomplish. I condemned myself when I wasn’t able to get things done in my timetable or the way I wanted it done. I was a mess! No wonder I was having panic attacks. I was in a pit and I didn’t know how to get out!
My counselor, Marcia, knew I had a lot of issues buried within me. She also knew it was going to take time to address each issue because they were locked way down inside me. I was desperate to find answers. I had a lot of questions about my Dad. But, before I start talking about him, I want you to know that I loved my Dad very much. When I was a little girl, I spent most of my time trying to please him and make him proud of me. He wasn’t an easy person to please. I learned at a young age that our house was happier when Dad was happy. So, I made it my job to keep him happy. That’s a lot for a little girl to take on. I became the princess of pleasing. Everything I wanted began to revolve around him and what he wanted for me instead of what I wanted. I lost my identity. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time because I was just a child.
Some of the questions I asked were, “Why can’t he show me that he loves me?” “Why did I allow him to control me for so many years?” “Why can’t he accept what I want instead of what he wants?” I began pouring my heart out to God and Marcia with my “why” questions. And let me tell you, there were many! Not only did I have a lot of questions, but I also wanted a lot of answers. Now that I look back, I know God placed me in several Beth Moore studies to help me. ( I am going to be quoting her a lot!) She said, “Sometimes when we finally give up trying to discover all the answers to the “whys” in our lives and decide to trust a sovereign God, unexpected peace washes over us like a summer rain. I must believe, bend the knee, and learn how to receive.” I knew I didn’t have peace in my life. I was so desperate for answers. I still had so many questions. So, I continued to ask them.
Asking the questions brought me closer to Him. He began to speak to me while I was journaling. Now don’t freak out! I don’t mean I heard a voice from heaven or anything. But, when the spirit of God lives in you, He speaks to you. He began to give me permission to ask the hard questions. So, I did. He led me to Mark 9:21-24. It is a story about a father with a son who had a demon in him. The father knew Jesus was able to help him but he struggled with unbelief. He said to Jesus, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Jesus healed the boy.
That passage opened my eyes to my unbelief. I knew God could do anything, but I needed to admit to Him my unbelief. I had doubts my panic attacks would ever go away. I could only see the fear and pain I was in. I couldn’t see anything ever changing. I also realized that Jesus didn’t rebuke the father when he admitted his unbelief. He didn’t lecture him or get mad at him. He healed his son. WOW!
That story impacted me so much because God wanted me to see that I needed to be honest with Him and tell Him my doubts. He wanted me to ask Him to help me with my unbelief. He wanted me to turn to Him like the father in the story did. He wanted me to ask the hard questions. And so I did.
Until next time fellow sojourners!