You’re a woman who loves God and wants to live a life that reflects Him. You want to follow the commandments. You want to keep yourself pure. You want to live righteously. Yet for some reason, you keep finding yourself in the same predicament. Whether it’s sexual, substance abuse, toxic relationships, self-harm, whatever it is, you’ve slipped again. The frustrating thing is that at your core you didn’t want to, you never really want to.
The same scenario plays out, start to finish. Sometimes you see it coming, and other times you don’t.
No matter how it started though, you can’t shake that ending. How it makes you feel to fall again. You feel ashamed or embarrassed. You feel empty. You feel like a failure. You might even call yourself a fool. How did I fall into this trap again? Am I too old for this? Why do I keep doing wrong when I want so much to do right?
Your heart hurts. Your soul hurts. And so you begin to feel numb.
You’re done with trying. Done with crying. Done with feeling alone. You could be surrounded by your closest friends and family, believing you have support. Yet in the aftermath of your relapse, you feel like you have no support. You feel like no one can understand where you are or how you feel. They say just stop it! So then you punish yourself because you feel like it should be that easy. But you’re screaming inside “it’s NOT that easy!” It’s as though you’re slipping and there is no hope for you. No one can catch you. You have lost yourself… again. And all the hard work you put in to make progress, you feel like it’s all been thrown away. Everything you built has crumbled all around you.
Why would God want to help you? You keep making the same mistakes over and over again. You feel like you don’t deserve love. You feel like you aren’t worthy of forgiveness. You feel like you deserve poor relationships. You feel like you deserve to be disregarded. You feel like you deserve the harshest punishment possible. You feel like just giving up and giving in to any and every temptation that comes. You might have even said to yourself, “What’s the point? How much more grace and mercy does God really have for me?”
Can I tell you a secret? You’re not alone.
You’re not the first to struggle and unfortunately, you won’t be the last. You might even think like I did, “If I’m going to go to hell for this, I might as well make it good”. Don’t think like I did. That’s the decision and feeling the enemy wants to see.
When you give up, he wins. The enemy wants to shame you the way he was shamed when he was thrown out of Heaven in front of everyone. He wants you to feel like he felt. He’s trying to get back at God, by using you. He wants you to ignore and forget how God feels about you. He knows how much God loves and adores you.
God knows your heart. He knows your purest desire is to please Him and make Him proud of you. He knows that you want to do right, even though your actions try to prove you wrong.
Can I tell you a secret? You are still worth the life He sacrificed on the cross, over 2000 years ago. He hung on that cross naked and ashamed. He took it all for you. He knew you would be here. Struggling with being spiritually naked, ashamed, and battling to stand up for yourself. He knew you might have the challenge to find your way back to Him. So He found the best way to be found by you. He’s stretching His hand towards you.
How about this lie, “No one will want me”. Don’t believe this lie. Consider the story of Hosea and Gomer in the book of Hosea. It’s the perfect example of God’s love for us even when we stray. He may be disappointed and hurt for you, but He still yearns for you to return to Him. Give God the chance and He will ALWAYS, take you back.
“Sin is how we medicate the pain. So telling people not to sin is ineffective if you don’t tell them how to eradicate the pain.” Bishop TD Jakes
So how do I make this work? How do I move through this and overcome these struggles?
Evaluate Triggers – What is going on in your space, leading up to your relapse (music, feelings, conversations, time of day, or environment)? Once you figure out your triggers, make a plan on how you can avoid or extinguish them in the present and in the future; especially for when you’re caught off guard.
Accountability Partner– Although you might want to stay in hiding and try to battle this on your own, you need the accountability. Find someone who you can check in with on a regular basis. Someone you can be completely transparent with, and who will be real with you. Someone who will remind you of the life you want to live, and support you in prayer and Godly counsel. Check in with someone at least once per week. Out of sight (contact), out of mind.
Professional Counseling– There could be several underlying issues, past traumas and life experiences that have you trapped – causing you to repeat unwanted behaviors. Take the time to seek professional help if necessary.
Use Your Weapon – The Bible says in Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” The power of life and death are in our words – so if we vocally declare and pray the word of God over us, there is nothing that we cannot change, overcome or breathe new life into.
Remember thoughts >> words >> actions.
Don’t Give Up On Yourself or God’s Ability to Restore You
You have to be intentional. Yes, some days it’s easier said than done. There are times when you wish you could snap your fingers and it’ll be over with. Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want freedom, you have to fight for it. Be intentional about how you will continue to move forward. Don’t stay stuck in the fall. It might be exhausting, but you have to fight like your life depends on it… because it does. Never discredit the power within you to overcome the struggle and the pain. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe in God’s forgiveness because we struggle to forgive ourselves. Don’t limit or underestimate God’s power to forgive and restore.
I pray you feel His love and His desire for you. I pray that you find your way back to Him. I pray that you are able to discover and believe what God sees in you. I pray that you see that your life is not defined by your mistakes. I pray that you will feel God’s grace and that you will allow Him in to transform you. I pray that you will be released from your habitual struggle. I pray that you get unstuck. I pray that you will learn how to truly move forward. Don’t look at this fall as the end… it’s another chance to start over.
Scriptures to Help You Through The Struggle
Psalm 23 (Restoration and Protection)
Psalm 73:26 (God’s Strength)
1 Peter 5:8-9 (You’re Not Alone)
Romans 5:20-21 (Grace Abounds)
Romans 5:3-4 (Strength and Endurance)
Ephesians 4:21-24 (Renew Your Thoughts)
Romans 8:38 (God’s Love)
Psalm 37: 23-24 (fill in the blank with your name)
The Lord directs the steps of the godly ___. He delights in every detail of ___’s life. Though ____ stumble, she will never fall, for the Lord holds ___ by the hand.
Worship Through the Struggle- Play List
Help – Erica Campbell
How Can It Be – Lauren Daigle
Hills and Valleys – Tauren Wells
Never Runs Dry – Casey J
Free – Kiki Sheard
Oceans – Caleb and Kelsey
It’s Not Over – Israel & New Breed
Broken Vessels – Hillsong Worship
O’ Lord – Lauren Daigle
Forward – Mali Music
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