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Full of Holes

 

I struggled this Thanksgiving weekend.

I’m guessing since I wrote about trying to be thankful for hard things last week, the enemy decided to test out how much I really meant it. I’m sorry to say, I failed. Nothing horrible happened, but it was a lot of the same old garbage (disappointment, insecurity, anxiety, frustration at my kids) that I often struggle with, and I was NOT thankful for any of it:

Situation 1: I went on a date with my husband. At the movie, I found myself feeling insecure and comparing myself with people on the movie screen. I fought ugly thoughts about my appearance and body image.
Conclusion I came to: I don’t like my physical appearance. I am not what I should be.

Situation 2: I was so frustrated with the kids all weekend. I thought they were acting ungrateful and they were not obeying. I spent much of the weekend being frustrated with them (instead of being thankful for them), and I yelled at them several times, which brought on truckloads of guilt. The noise level with all five kids home all day frayed my nerves and made me feel edgy and a little crazy.
Conclusion I came to: I am not a good mother.

Situation 3: Someone made a comment about a news story at a family gathering, about how our country is such a mess, and going to economically collapse or have a major disaster happen at any moment (which may or may not be true).
Conclusion I came to: I am not in control and I can’t do anything, so I’m going to panic and let anxiety take over (Apparently, I forgot the God of the universe is my Father).

Situation 4: My husband chose to spend an entire day outside doing projects while I was in the house with the kids (two of them with nasty colds and I had one too). I told him I needed him to stay in and help me, but then I also told him to go out and do his work because if he stayed inside, I would just feel guilty that I ruined his day (rational, right?…). Then I felt hurt and angry when he did what I told him to do! What I really wanted was for him to tell me he was going to stay inside and help me because he loved me more than his manly urges to get things done outside (even if it was things that really needed done). My automatic reaction (almost every time without fail) in these situations is to withdrawal and get really quiet, which is what I did.
Conclusion I came to: I am not enough to hold my husband’s attention.

Ugh! Shouldn’t I be through this irrational line of thinking by now? I have been a Christian for almost twenty-four years for goodness sake! Why am I so hypersensitive to everything? I was really discouraged as I wrote my thoughts in my journal today. I wrote down, “Honestly, I just feel so full of holes sometimes.” Do you know what I mean by that? You know, all of those empty and hollow places in us that can be easily triggered, and that make us feel “out of sorts,” alone, and insignificant. It makes me think of one of those targets with the big bulls-eyes on them, all shot up with bullet holes. That’s how I feel sometimes…full of holes.

Can anyone else relate?

But then God spoke to my heart…

“I have healed you from your wounds. Now I am teaching you how to walk through your daily life and live like you believe they are really healed. You have learned so much from your past, but don’t stay there. Do not forget we are doing a new thing together.”

And there was more…

“I am the One who is able to fill all those holes. The light of my Presence shines out of those holes. In Me there is no darkness at all.”

And one more…

“Let me help you focus on what you are, not on what you are not.”

Tears filled my eyes and my heart felt a need to repent. Repentance has come to mean something totally different to me lately. I love this quote from Beth Moore: “Repentance is a gift. It is our way back to God and it is always without condemnation” (Romans 8:1, Isaiah 30:15). And my small group leader often says, “God reveals in order to heal, never to condemn.”

Relief and peace and God’s grace flooded over me as He gave me truth to replace the lies and the despair I had been facing just a few moments earlier. I felt the overwhelming need to worship my Savior. Something that God has given me recently is true freedom to worship Him. I believe this comes when you surrender your heart and be completely honest and vulnerable before God with your struggle, repent, and thank Him for the miracle of the process (John 4:23). God is the only One who is safe to be totally exposed and vulnerable with, and He still is able to keep our dignity intact.

I asked God to shift my focus once again. Here is what I am shifting my focus to today:

Regarding Situation 1: (the date when I was feeling insecure) I am fully accepted by God and deeply loved just the way I am.
Truth to Apply: But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift of my head. - Psalm 3:3. I picture God lifting up my head with His finger gently tipping up my chin, restoring my confidence and making me feel beautiful and cherished.

Regarding Situation 2: (being frustrated with my kids) God has equipped me with everything I need to be a good mother to my five children, including a sound mind. God is not the author of chaos, craziness, or of guilt.
Truth to Apply: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (emphasis added). For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. - 2 Timothy 1:7. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. - Psalm 28:7

Regarding Situation 3: (worrying about the future of the United States/the world) God is sovereign and in control of all things at all times. Sovereign means possessing complete power and authority over everything. I am not in control and that is a very good thing! God is fully and totally in control, and He is good all of the time. In this scary, messed-up world, I need to know that. Even when things feel out of control, God’s plan continues to unfold.
Truth to Apply: Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. - Psalm 115:3. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. - Psalm 94:19. When I am afraid, I will trust in You. - Psalm 56:3

Regarding Situation 4: (feeling like I couldn’t hold my husband’s attention) My husband loves me very much. God loves me even more and when I am full of holes, only He can fill them anyway. God is always near; I am never alone. God is more than enough; He is everything I need.
Truth to Apply: Jesus ”fills everything in every way.” - Ephesians 1:23. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. - Deuteronomy 31:8

And with that dose of truth came hope. Hope is such a powerful thing.The hope Jesus gives has the power to fill all of our holes.

Because of the holes in His hands, I don’t just have to live with all of the holes in me.

He knows those that are His (2 Timothy 2:19). He loves those that are HIs. I’s so thankful His grace never runs out for me, no matter how many times I find myself in the same cycle of discouragement.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. - Romans 5:3-5 (emphasis added).

I love this quote from Sheila Walsh in her book, “The Storm Inside;
“We must hold up, like a shelter, the truth of God’s Word over our desperate feelings of disappointment, knowing that He cares and He loves more profoundly than we will ever know.”(1)

Jesus knows all my holes. He knows all your holes. He loves us always, anyways.

Hallelujah!

Lord, thank You for loving me even when I’m overreacting and being hypersensitive. Change my heart, and make me only hypersensitive to the Holy Spirit living in me. You are God and You are always enough, if I would just be still and take time to soak in Your Presence and Your truth. Thank you for loving me enough to fill all my holes and shine Your light from them. Amen.

Resource:
(1) “The Storm Inside; Trading the Chaos of How Your Feel for the Truth of Who You Are” by Sheila Walsh. Published by Nelson Book, 2014. pg. 33.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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