In March of this year I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. I have tried to write my story countless times but it seems I need to preface my endometriosis post by sharing some of my past so you can begin to understand me and how I relate my personal experiences to God. This is a much more spiritual post than I usually write so fasten your seat belt. I’m usually much more private about how I relate things back to God and Jesus’s teachings but it’s impossible for me to share my past without relating it back to God. For the most part I joke and make light of my personal history. Obviously, that is a coping mechanism that is necessary for me to breathe each day. The not so funny side of my past still lingers and is an ever present reminder to keep my focus on God. For those of you who read my blog that aren’t Christian, I encourage you to read with an open mind. At the very least, you’ll gain insight into my crazy 😊. It is important to mention that if you are currently dealing with any trauma and are currently triggered, read with caution.
Still interested in my story? Keep reading…
It’s important to understand that the bad things that happen to us in life are not only unfair but they are designed to trip us up and are a means to break us down bit by bit until we fail at being what God intended. I view this as the devils work, plain and simple. I’ve had my fair share of difficulties, from growing up in a dysfunctional abusive home to surviving and conquering two traumas -one of which I didn’t remember until a year or so ago. Because I am unafraid to maintain healthy boundaries and will not engage in codependent or enabling behaviors, I am a threat to the dysfunction itself. Anyone who has experienced a dysfunctional family system will tell you that stepping away from that dysfunction will cause your family to see you as weak, running away from problems, or holding a grudge. This is not the truth, don’t believe their dysfunctional perception. I have forgiven everyone who has hurt me/continues to do so. It isn’t about holding a grudge; it’s about demanding those individuals to respect me and my boundaries.
“We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4,5
No more lies, no more secrets.
The devil aims to build these lies little by little over time. After years of lies, negative thoughts and behaviors become truth. The person’s perceptions throughout the years becomes somewhat distorted not only with reality but with what is actual truth. Remember, all the devil has is time.
Unfortunately for the devil, I knew the truth and God knew the truth and that’s all I needed. Why does God let terrible things happen to some of us but intervenes with others? I don’t have an exact answer for you. I can tell you that in the difficult circumstances that I have experienced, God always gives you a way out. It should be noted that it usually isn’t the easy way out.
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
In my case, each difficult experience I have endured has taught me something invaluable about myself and life in general. I would not be who I am without having lived through what I’ve lived through. If I had remembered that specific trauma at any earlier point in my life, I’m pretty sure it would have destroyed me. The psychological term for my experience is called repressed memories. My mind repressed memories that happened to me as a child because it was unsafe to remember for a period of time. It was only when it was safe to remember, married and out of that house for 4 years, that I had those memories flood back. Until that point I had read about that sort of thing in a textbook but I certainly didn’t think I had any dormant traumatic memories in my mind.
Boy was I wrong.
I honestly see this as a gift from God. A lot of people don’t get the privilege of not remembering their childhood trauma until they’re an adult with a stable life and a support system. I thank God every day for not remembering until it was safe. I honestly believe it would have broken me, forever altering my future. God’s timing is perfect.
I share all this to say the devil couldn’t hold me down with my past because I chose to put my traumas in the light. It’s when we feel ashamed or at fault and try to hide those traumas in the dark that we succumb to evil. Believing those lies that creep into your mind is so easy. It is said in the bible that the devil is the master of lies (John 8:44), and he’s really good at it. It is because of that truth that I knew those lies would breed fear and that fear would eat me alive. I knew that I didn’t want to be a prisoner in my own mind. I knew that those experiences were not my fault and I knew that sharing my truth with my husband and my family would mean I was no longer under the devil’s stronghold.
I was free.
“If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them] you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31, 32
Make no mistake I have not come out of those experiences unscathed. I deal with anxiety every day and I know it is an entry point for the devil. Because I know this, I have to be extra careful of my thoughts and where they lead me; better yet where I lead my thoughts…For the most part I’ve been able to keep control over the anxiety and have developed good coping mechanisms over the years. The most important thing I can do for anxiety is to read scripture and hold strong to my faith in God.
It’s important that you know this about me because it speaks to my stubbornness and unwillingness to accept anything less than fair treatment for everyone, including myself. To anyone who does not know me I appear to be a good target for manipulation, coercion, deceit, or any other malice intent. Those people rapidly find out that not only do I see them coming from afar, I am usually one step ahead of them. It’s the gift from God I could have never predicted that came out of my experiences and one that still serves me today.
Anyone can see a person’s weaknesses and exploit them or tear them down but is that strength? I have manipulated manipulators when I felt threatened but I realized it was not good and only hurt my relationships with them. I realized that regardless of how someone is attempting to manipulate me and how wrong I feel they are for doing so doesn’t mean I need to fight back in the same way. I have control over how I respond. The real strength is not using those learned skills to hurt others in order to get your way in this life. You cannot fight fire with fire and as Christians we are called to respond with respect and love. If I’m being honest, I really don’t believe someone can grow up in dysfunction and not have any issues to work out once they become an adult. I chose to work my issues before I ever met my husband; I knew I needed to work on myself before I could ever entertain the idea of dealing with someone else’s baggage.
Through my positive and negative experiences I’ve learned that I possess a quiet strength. I use to think this was a negative but as I’ve gotten older, I realize this is probably one of the greatest gifts God could have given me. I’m still learning about my spiritual gifts from God and how I can use those gifts to help others. In the meantime I hope my experiences can help others who might be battling their own thoughts from previous abuse and are unsure of how and when to place boundaries with loved ones. I’d love to talk more in depth about those experiences and what scriptures helped guide me on this journey.
For now, I’d like to share about the war I’ve been battling on my mind, spirit, and body. Now that you have a bit clearer picture of my background, I feel I can share my battle with endometriosis and interstitial cystitis. Let’s start with the elusive chronic reproductive disease responsible for affecting 1 in 10 women world wide, endometriosis.