A Crack in the Armor

It started with a whisper.

A small hardly noticeable hum.

“Something’s not right.” 

 A tiny barely perceptible inclination.

But it was there.

I pressed on, shoving it aside.  Brushing it off with a false sense of determination.  Leaning on myself to pull through this fog.

Then the whisper became a mumble.  More noticeable, but still easily ignored.

You are struggling here.”

A little more effort, and it was pushed aside as well.  I can do this.  Get a grip.

Mumbling turned into firm, disciplinary tones.

“Wake up and smell the roses.  You’re obviously having a hard time.”

I almost gave in, but my stubbornness welled up in me like a wave about to crash onto the shore.

Pride.  A false sense of self assurance.

Finally, the firm voice turned into an all out roar.

“You are not okayno matter how hard you pretend that you are.”

I crumbled.  Fell to my knees in near despair.  How had I gotten here?  Where did it all go wrong?

Haven’t I been here before?  Or a even better question…didn’t I learn my lesson already?

*sigh*


Something that I struggle with on a near daily basis is to fight my own self will.  Because of the many bad things that occurred during my childhood, young adulthood, and even in recent years, I’ve developed this armor that I put on.  I tell myself not to be weak willed, to stand strong (or at least appear to do so), to never ever let another person take advantage of me, to cling to the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” mentality and move on, not allowing obstacles in life to hold me back.

So, when I found myself again in this place where I felt emotionally spent and it was a massive effort to perform daily functions, at first I just powered through it. When going out to the grocery store, to a friend’s house, to church caused me to start having mild panic attacks several days prior to the outing because the idea of slapping on the happy face so no one knew what was going on under the surface made me want to bury my head under the covers and hide, I either canceled my plans or prayed that I could muster enough gumption to pull off my facade.  When I spent more time in the day being frustrated with my children than being happy and spending time cuddling them and nurturing them, I berated myself internally about how I was a horrible mother while outwardly feeling absolutely at a loss at how to turn things around, begging my husband to help shoulder more of the responsibility so I could try to breathe.

I was am drowning.

There was a crack in my armor.  Or maybe even a gaping chasm.

What’s wrong with that picture?  It’s the complete opposite of what God wants us to do.

He wants us to lean on Him, to realize that we are nothing but wretched sinners without Him, to find fellowship and strength in other believers, to put ourselves last.  We should put on HIS armor, not our own.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Ephesians 6:10-17

Of course, I know all this logically.  But, I’ve been more focused on my own abilities or lack thereof to turn back to the source of the answers that I needed.

Finally, I was broken and I heeded to that whisper turned roar (the Holy Spirit convicting me).

I was in the shower one day when I completely fell apart.  I hit my knees and cried out to God to please please deliver me from this place.  My husband doesn’t deserve this kind of wife.  My children don’t deserve this kind of mother.  I’ve tried my way and it was a disaster, so now I need to try His.

It’s been hard to admit all this (again).  But in a way, it’s also freeing.  I’m no longer depending on myself to haul myself out of the pit of depression and anxiety.  I’m depending on God.  Who better to be in charge, right?

After some prayer, I’m heading to my doctor tomorrow after making the appointment reluctantly(that self will is still there waiting to take over).  I want to make sure that there isn’t any underlying medical issues(thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, Vitamin D deficiency, etc) that are contributing to all of my symptoms (which range from panic attacks to insomnia to extreme fatigue and irritability).  Then I’m going to pursue some lifestyle changes and natural ways to fight against this before I try any sort of medication (nothing wrong with this route if you need it, I’ve tried it in the past and didn’t care for it), but the important thing is that I’m taking the first step….even if it isn’t the first time I’ve taken that first step.  I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly glad that God is a god of mercy and grace and is always there to pick us up when we stumble.

Here’s to a first step and second third many chances.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

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Comments

  1. Dusty, make SURE they check your hormones levels! Cortisol, DHEA, progesterone, and estrogen. Is there a naturopath in your area? You are smart to check thyroid but you need a thorough checking and have it reviewed by a naturopath because MD’s will tell you that you are “normal” and put you on a anti-depressant. BEEN WHERE YOU ARE! Mine is http://www.mariepace.com

  2. Hi new friend,

    I understand your pain all too well … I may not have walked the same road as you but I understand the ‘be strong’ – ‘keep going’ persona … and yet Christ calls us to be weak so that HE can be strong. Don’t be discouraged about visiting the Dr .. after all wasn’t Luke a doctor.
    Keep walking and abiding … Jesus will walk you out of the valley 🙂 and I am sure He is thrilled with you.

  3. Dusty,

    Nice to meet you. I came over from Changed by the Maker.

    Thank you for your honesty here. I love that we can all be real and climb up onto our Abba’s lap. He is good, his people should be safe to be real with, and we can hold on. I walk those days sometimes too. My recent post “Speak the Hard Things” shares similar confessions.

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

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