Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Journal Note Coping Skills, trusting God

I promised I would share with you my “coping skills” I used over the years. Tricks pulled out of my hat that worked temporarily but soon failed. As with any trick, they may work for the person down the street but that doesn’t mean they will for us. What is important is we work on finding what does work for us one ingredient at a time; one recipe at a time.

Samples of things I did to endure were: 1) I recorded scriptures on a tape to listen to at night using earphones to help me fall asleep and give me peace. 2) Frequently I used solitary bathrooms as my crying room as I struggled to regain the strength needed to endure the outside world. 3) Sitting on the baptistery stairs at the church and praying and talking to God helped a great deal. 4) Frequently going into the sanctuary of the church dropping to my knees crying out loud to God was a must. I remember once doing it in my bib overalls, another time in a dress that I lost a button on as I fell to my knees. I never did find the lost button but I found God. One time when I was praying I felt the tremble of the earth below me. Later I went back to that same spot and tried again to see if the tremble was still there but it wasn’t.

5) I anointed my house once, the door jams and the front door as I prayed to God.  6) I painted the walls of my house with songs of praise each morning before leaving for work to cover the anger from the fighting the evening before. 7) I would daily leave all my cares and anxieties on the rock pile at the edge of our property so I wouldn’t take them to work with me. 8) I built a set of stairs out of wood and put a cross on the top of my four inch creation to give me a place to focus. 9) I even tried the running away trick and the trick of anger and revenge.

 At times it seemed like the only friend I had was the smiley face on a deck of cards that would pop up randomly as I played solitaire on the computer. It was a face I looked forward to as it was a reminder to me that someone still cared. Someone was still smiling at me. On top of all the other tricks I listed I had one I thought was the answer. It seemed like a good approach to my problems. It was logical and what appeared to be fool proof. Wrong! Little did I know my effort to deal with life turned into a trap that I would later get caught in? It would be a trap that took years to remove.  

 Over the years it got to the point that I told God I had no more tricks to pull out of my hat. Everything I tried to do to cope wasn’t working or lasting very long. God spoke to my heart and told me the problem was “I” was trying to do these things; “I” needed to stop and allow God to help me.

 Giving up the notion that I needed to get my husband to change was the beginning of better progress for myself and my marriage.   It was time to stop believing the lies that Satan had me feeding from. Lies such as the fact that my only friend was a smiley face on a deck of cards, the lie that getting angry was showing I was dealing with life. The lie also that I was the only one going through such terrible times. The lie also that no one cared.

 Satan is good at getting us down and then he has his ways of holding our heads under as we drown in our own self pity. Way back when I didn’t lean on the promises of God, I leaned on my tricks. Later I learned the best defense is that which God provides. The promises He gives us in His word such as “I will never leave you nor forsake you. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

 Those are the things we need to throw in Satan’s face and tell him what Christ told him, “Get ye behind me Satan.” It’s a statement that will need repeating over and over again but that’s okay. The important thing is that we don’t quit or give up on ourselves or God. We need to use our hard times to learn from and to draw closer to God.

 Honestly if my walk in life had been smooth and easy I probably never would have prayed to God as much as I have. I would never have drawn as close as I am to His side. As the song says, “If that’s what it takes then Jesus let it rain,” Amen! We definitely need to stay close to God when life circumstances are raining down on us. Leaning on Him and doing all we can to stand strong in Him.
It’s important to remember that Satan can make us stumble but he can’t make us fall. We are the ones that allow that because we aren’t focused on the things above, the eternal stuff that needs to be in our hearts. Praising the Lord thru it all is the best way to cope anything. Praise Him for His love, his mercy, grace, forgiveness, comfort, companionship, wisdom, understanding, and so much more. Claim His promises in His word and stand on them. Satan will try to knock you off your newly found platform of promises but don’t allow it. Stand firm, stand strong.

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