Breakdowns lead to my Greatest Breakthroughs
Life is not perfect! You're not perfect! The people around you are not perfect. ONLY JESUS is perfect. I say this because I am a woman marked by perfection driven tendencies. I like my throw pillows just right. Everything has a place in my home, and I kind of get a strange tingly twitch when things are not where they belong. Any of you feel me?
In our society, we praise women for having it all together. We uphold the type A personality. We marvel at the gal who eats "perfectly" clean, have the "perfect" body, "perfect" family, "perfectly" decorated home... You catch my drift? Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
Let me be REAL! None of this is real. We ALL have our own dark spots, hidden in the recesses of our hearts. We have mountains of struggles and things that we hope are never seen by the eye of another.
This terrifies me, because I know where it leads. It ONLY brings breakdowns, snapping points. Trust me... I found myself in the depths of one, okay, maybe two, who am I kidding more than that (over the years).
Through my breakdowns have always come my greatest breakthroughs. It is only in these times of despair that I have come to see Jesus for who He is and understand better who I am.
Perfection breads anxiety! We gravel for control. We hunger after it. We micromanage what the world sees and we lie to ourselves thinking that we really have it all together. Satan traps us. Have you ever noticed in 1 Peter 5:6-11 the devil is roaming around seeking who he is going to devour, and right before he takes them down they are caught up in anxious thought patterns? Take a quick moment and visit this passage with me...
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you. Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen."
Peter begins by reminding us to HUMBLE ourselves. Perfection is NOT humble. Perfection driven minds try to fix, not cast! By casting our anxieties we free ourselves and allow our weakness to be made known to Jesus, and only then can His strength be magnified in us.
Anxiety robs us of a sober-mind. As I fought the battle with anxiety for years, I was unstable in all my ways. I was seeking hard after God, at-least I thought I was, but in all honesty, I was trying to CONTROL every area, every season, everything. These patterns only drove me deeper and deeper into anxious living, panic attacks, anger outbursts, starvation(control) and self-hate. Now before you begin to judge... I was that faithful church girl, you know to me... I sang in the choir, I got up daily, dressed to impress, worked in the nursery, volunteered my time and had missionaries in our home REGULARLY. You would have thought of me as the perfect Christian gal. Yet, the devil was chewing on me! Because "I" and "ME" were all I could see.
Humble... This word screams at me these days. As I look back and reflect on my journey, I see that Christ used my breakdowns to provide my greatest breakthroughs. He called me to Himself, teaching me to trust Him and Him alone. I had to LET GO, and learn to surrender. I had to remove the walls brick by brick that I had built MYSELF. He needed permission to re-build me in His likeness.
Lions are hunters. They see weakness, and know those who are easy prey. The devil is no different. Peter describes him, just as this a lion. Though you think you hide, he knows your tender spots. I have fabulous news... Jesus does too. He is on your side and He invites you to freedom, He tells you to cast, not hold. He promises He will RESTORE, CONFIRM and STRENGTHEN you.
YES, Suffering will happen. Anxious thoughts will unfold. But what will YOU do? Where will you go?
I like to tell women I speak with that breakthroughs usually come via breakdowns, and that's okay.
Because in the midst of a breakdown, this is what I walk through. I begin to see my imperfection, I attempt to fix and be better, which is where annoyance is found... and Annoyance leads to anxiety... Anxiety leads me to my Savior, JESUS. My problem is when I try to become my own savior, it NEVER works out!
Understand me when I say, your breakdown is not in vain. It is a tool, and it is only for is little while. Your little while may be longer or shorter than my little while, but nevertheless, it's a little while. God will give the GRACE, because He has called you to HIS eternal glory. He has dominion. He has already won.
I simply invite you to change your perspective and praise the name of Jesus in the hard times, looking to Him, believing that He has a breakthrough coming, hoping, trusting and seeking, not holding, or fixing, but casting.