a blog about daughters in crisis and the moms who love them

Archive for the category “Crisis”

God is Where You Left Him

Retrace Your StepsNot infrequently, I hear people say they think God has abandoned them, is ignoring them, or is unconcerned with their circumstances. Admittedly, I’ve hopped on that thought train a few times myself. When problems don’t resolve or when they get worse instead of better, it’s tempting to wonder if God has stopped paying attention or if He ever took notice to begin with.

Over time, though, I’ve learned that any inconsistencies I might perceive between God and myself are not faults of His. (He is a rock of stability, omnipotence and permanence — the same yesterday, today and forever. And He cares about the big and the little things in my life — His eye is on even the sparrow and He perceives my every thought.) I’m the one who varies and wavers.

When I can’t find God and it seems like He’s gone wandering off, I’ve learned to retrace my steps until I return to the place I last encountered Him. He’s always right where I left Him! Perhaps I stumbled at one of His commandments, or maybe I began to let doubt leak into my mind. Sometimes the cares of life get distracting. Sometimes I float off on a raft of selfishness. Or of impatience.

Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.   ~ Jeremiah 2:32

Once I come to my senses and seek to mend my broken fellowship with the Father — confess my faults — all is forgiven. We pick up where I left off. If I veered off out of resistance to doing what was required of me (like Jonah), as soon as I make up my mind to follow through, peace flows like a river once again. Wonderful, merciful Savior!

Feeling Out of Control?

Trident rocket spinningMany who face issues like self-injury or eating disorders say they decided to try it because they felt like life was out of control. Cutting or self-imposed food rules sound like ways to exert control that people hope will eventually allow them to regain it in other aspects of life.

I find this line of reasoning very interesting. And I say this as someone who dabbled with anorexic tendencies as a teen. This is the precisely the path my mind took when I decided to limit my calories down to a specific weight goal.

The behavior honestly did make me feel like I had more control over my life – initially. While I had limited choices about certain things as a teen (which is typical in a normal family where parents are in charge like they ought to be), in my mind I was too restricted, too watched, too controlled. I was somewhat rebellious, angry. And there were likely things happening at school and socially, too, that contributed to this mindset (but not big enough things that I remember them now).

Harnessing my body to my whims and desires meant that I could decide what to eat, when, and how much. I could decide how I wanted it to look.

I know others who describe their thought process about these behaviors in much the same way.

Eventually, though, it dawns upon the consciousness that this pursuit of control through self-destructive habits has slowly, methodically and insipidly gained a hold on one’s mind, heart and daily life. It begins to feel an awful lot like the thoughts, motives, and behaviors have, ahem, taken CONTROL!

Yeah. That must be why these things are often called “life-controlling” issues, huh?

So the moral of this story is slow down and be careful when you start to feel like life is out of control. Reach out to someone you trust who can look at your situation objectively. Ask them if they think things are as bad as you feel they are. Maybe they are. If they are, I’m so sorry. Please don’t try to carry your burdens alone. Reach out and get the help that you need to get through this. You can get through it.

Maybe, though, life really isn’t as bad as it feels. Maybe talking about it and looking at it from fresh eyes will push a reset button within you that will refresh your mind. Even better, ask someone to pray with you.

The best time to stop a life-controlling behavior is before it starts. Scars, possible health issues, emotional upheaval, relationship difficulties, and social awkwardness can all be part of the package. Think it through. There are better ways of coping, believe me. Avoid the regret.

As hard as it may seem right now, your life is actually much more under control than it will be if you start cutting or stop eating.

Don’t let the pursuit of control take control of you. You are worth too much.

You Are Not Alone

Discovering that your daughter struggles with an issue like self-injury disrupts your equilibrium. While more and more families are affected by this issue, it’s still uncommon enough that it can make you feel isolated, alone and misunderstood.

I felt desolate and devastated when it all started. I had never heard of self-injury. I knew nothing about it and was totally baffled by it. Why would someone consider hurting themselves?

I started trying to educate myself, but my sense of isolation was actually compounded by my research. I kept finding psychological banter laden with heavy doses of guilt about the types of family situations or life events that made people want to resort to harming themselves. Our family didn’t match the profiles I read about, but I couldn’t help absorbing shame and guilt and culpability nonetheless.

For the sake of my daughter, myself and my family, I made up my mind to continue reaching out until I found the sources of empathy, support and wise counsel we all needed. I wanted real answers and real solutions, not just pills and positive thinking. I found what I was looking for. Best of all, I found out what powerful things God can do in these situations. He put incredible people upon our path who walked alongside us and helped us tremendously. Our sense of aloneness gradually faded. Healing began for all of us. God is good.

You can find the support you need too. I invite you start here. Send me an email at spoudazo.blog@gmail.com.

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