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“I Can’t Ask for Things. I Shouldn’t Have Needs, Desires, or Emotions” – by Radiant

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From a very dear friend and sister in Christ whom God has radically healed physically and spiritually in the past year and a half. For decades, Radiant could not receive love from God, herself or from anyone and was imprisoned spiritually and emotionally. How I praise God for what He is doing in her life! This sister’s issues were often the opposite of my issues – and help to provide a much needed different perspective from my own.

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About the post, “Being Vulnerable and Direct Feels Wrong!” – I totally thought like the wife who had objections to speaking in direct, vulnerable ways my whole life.

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS:

This way of thinking makes us a victim and voiceless, then we freak out  on someone when they put that teeny straw on top of our huge anger that we aren’t allowed to admit, or have, or own, or do anything about. And it makes us jealous of wives who “have because they ask,” annoyed that they are so unapologetically “demanding” as we see it. My old way of thinking was about “righteously” refusing to have needs, emotions, demands.

It makes you really sick! Emotionally, physically and spiritually. To receive nothing good and only receive bad truly makes us toxic.

Why can’t we receive good? I think it’s this false humility stronghold that simultaneously says we don’t deserve anything good, while somehow at the same time being proud at how humble and un-needy we are. Then it’s about being a victim because no one understands how hard our life is. I felt I should have enough faith to be above struggles and emotions myself, even though I would never say anyone else should be. I was always the first one to comfort hurting people because I knew the pain of trying to go through things alone, and felt no one should ever have to do that (except me!). Part of it is the idea that “everyone else is more important than you, it’s in the Bible.” So being humble is not needing or asking or demanding. That’s for others.

If someone said good things about us, they are obviously lying or have a distorted perception or are just being nice, since the only thing that can be true is self-attack. That has been the only voice I have ever really believed – and I saw so much evidence to verify it – that it had to be true. And I was so used to that voice. I always thought that maybe if I criticized myself enough, then hopefully no one else would need to. While I was at it, I could feel extra guilty and not enjoy anything, and help God out with the punishments I knew I deserved. If someone did criticize me, I was a complete failure and had nowhere to stand, and collapsed inconsolably. There was no grace. No hope. Only trying again as hard as I could, knowing I would fail again.

People’s approval seems to be the only gauge of hope, but then we don’t receive it either. Nothing is ever enough.

So all time is spent trying not to need, trying to meet all others needs, trying not to mess up, attacking self with every mistake, guilt fear and failure. Trying to find life in dead works, which puts you under a curse. All this rule following and no joy or good results. Baseline – it is unbelief. Hebrew 4. No one can enter His rest if we hear the truth, but it is not mixed with faith.

My old way of thinking:

  • It’s saying Jesus saved me so I should be able to obey all of His commandments in my own strength.
  • It’s trying to please God without faith. Hebrew 11:6 says you can’t do that.
  • It’s trying to please God by obeying without believing anything He says, receiving anything but the most anemic salvation, (and believing Jesus did it reluctantly – that he had to), not receiving His love, grace, forgiveness, power, mercy. Having no idea all of the good qualities mentioned about Him could somehow be directed to include you, too. Imagining being on the very fringe of heaven, not included.
  • It’s also being totally blocked by anyone who disagrees or says, “no,” to you, but not ever being allowed to say, “no,” or your dislikes to them.
  • It’s remembering what caused someone to be upset at all, and making an inner vow to never mess up or cause a problem again. (These inner vows curse us, trying to save ourselves in our own strength).
  • It’s not believing anyone could ever enjoy your company or love you because you don’t feel it, so it can’t be true.
  • The biggest fears are being a burden, a failure, and demanding.
  • The only “truth” you hear are these accusing lies and and it somehow intertwines itself into the gospel to make it a non-gospel. You buy into it completely.

Idols, or strongholds, in this mindset are false humility and martyrdom.

Faith is scarce in this way of thinking. We believe Jesus did die to save us, and that we can be saved, but we don’t see His grace or promises or healing or forgiveness or that He truly desires us. And even then, we can grow in faith, be set free from quite a few things, and fall right back into this prison. Behind the false humility is immense pride – pride, saving ourselves, and being wise in our own eyes. Pride that we are following rules, astonishment when we can’t follow rules; that we weren’t successful since we should be. We are Christians! How can we fail God like this? So we attack and punish ourselves trying to help God with His disappointment in us. We try harder. Until we can’t try literally. Then we sink into depression and can’t be pulled out.
Faith is the ability to receive from God. So we cry out and try to serve and love Him and repent and feel guilty, but we don’t actually exchange that guilt for forgiveness.

  • We cry to him that we feel alone and unloved and abandoned but we don’t receive that He really is here with us and will never leave us.
  • We complain to him that we can’t do what he asks us to, and basically say He is mean and cruel for not helping us, but we won’t receive His help.
  • We don’t believe he will help so we don’t ask.
  • And when we do ask we are full of doubt and therefore don’t receive, and validate to ourselves that He doesn’t care.
  • We are proud that we don’t burden God or others.
  • We aren’t rude and don’t ask for stuff.
  • We are busy getting things done for God and praying for people and trying hard to follow our rules.

Until we fall apart. Then we are angry at God, ourselves and everyone around us except we can’t be angry, so this awful feeling stays general, unknowable and unfixable  and is more evidence of how God has abandoned us.

The mindset of false humility and not receiving and Jesus’ response:

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”
John 13:6-10 ESV

RELATED:

Being Vulnerable and Direct Feels Wrong!

I Must Avoid Conflict at All Costs. That Is the Godly Thing to Do.

What Does God Say about Me?

My Identity and Security Are in Christ Alone!

Trying to Find Security in All the Wrong Places

Being a Trophy Wife is Not the Goal, My Dear Sisters! – by Radiant

49 thoughts on ““I Can’t Ask for Things. I Shouldn’t Have Needs, Desires, or Emotions” – by Radiant

  1. I see so much of myself in what Radiant says. I recently read the book “Surrendered Wife” by Laura Doyle and realize how proud and unbelieving I have been, which is an odd thing because the book is secular. Being in that proud, unbelieving place is like knowing you are trapped but failing to see how you are trapped and feeling helpless to get out. As I was praying and asking Jesus to reveal to me my weakness the Bible verse Mathew 7:3 came to mind,, ” Why do you look at the spec in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” I could see the faults of everyone around me so clearly, but failed to recognize my own. I prayed and prayed and Jesus answered my prayer, in part, with the book “Surrenedered Wife”. Not only did I see how I need to surrender to husband, to become vulnerable and state my needs. I realized this is exactly how Jesus wants us to be with him. It’s a scary place sometimes because it is living life in a way that I have never lived but there is such relief and rest in living a surrendered life; to being vulnerable and open to those around me and ultimately to Jesus.

    1. Julie,

      The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle is what God used to convict me of my pride, too! God also brought that same verse to mind with me, as well. But I felt like I had a whole forrest of trees in my eye, not just a plank!

      Isn’t it awesome the way we can learn more about marriage and relating to our husbands and more about our relationship with Christ and relating to Him at the same time? Love that! God showed me that I was treating Him almost exactly the same way I was treating Greg.

      It was terrifying at first – for me – to learn to be vulnerable and to give up my perception of control. But what healing and blessing God has brought to me because I was willing to take that leap!

      Thank you so much for sharing, precious sister!

    2. Surrendered Wife sounds like a good book. The martyrdom and pride I see daily, but also comparing husband with other men, as well as control and secrecy…I’m just going to manage everything myself. Why doesn’t my husband fall into line? Why doesn’t he want to talk to me anymore? Loser. Do I have that husband receipt for a return? He can’t love me….oh, but he does/we do. I hope you see how much some day.

      1. Only by the grace of God have I begun to see how my husband loves me. Not at all what I had in my control freak mind :), but oh so much sweeter, and masculine, and attractive than I could have imagined and only because God gave me the grace to humbly surrender. It took nine years and all I can say is someone or many must have been/are praying for me and God in his tender mercy opened my eyes to the beauty of the marriage relationship the way he designed it, and in a very short time. It was quite literally a Christmas miracle for me.

      2. Living2love,

        I have some posts that may be helpful with these issues, as well, my dear sister. 🙂

        You may want to search my home page for a few terms:

        – control
        – disrespect
        – passive husband
        – unplugged husband
        – space
        – martyr
        – healthy vs. unhealthy relationships
        – godly femininity

        Much love to you!

  2. compliment of the season.pls this is my 2yrs in marriage.Am really not myself for this two yrs.Sometin is bothering me for long about my husband likes and aspiration in life..our differences is much.I abhor travelling to the village but he is obssesd about it and his always there leaving me nd baby in town evnthough he calls me evrryday.He is pursing a position politically,his obsessed with politics but i dnt like politics at all,i even told him when were courting.His now having chieftaincy title meaning a traditional title even though his a beliver,ammong all these i listed,this title own is the worst thing i hate in this life.Pls my dear,am a believg wife and am really not myself.
    I hav been trying to know if i can cope with all this our differences but i cant anymore..Whatvdo i do?Hw will i handle these differences.They are not making me happy at all.I wish you can see my heart the way i hav been feeling bad about all these things.Waiting earnestly for your reply

    1. How is your walk with Jesus these past few years, dear Angel? How is your time in the Word and your prayer time? What is God saying to you specifically? Does He seem silent? Condemning? or loving? I believe He has good things He wants to fill you with from Himself no matter what your circumstances are. In fact – He often uses the very things we are so desperate to get away from, to break us of our pride and of our own desires and trying to save ourselves, and to do a powerful work in our hurt and broken hearts. Lift your hurts and scars to Him today and ask what is on His heart for you. Ask Him to use all of this for good in you and your marriage and family. Know that God is the Great Circumstance of your life, as Hudson Taylor learned so well. Lean into Him and trust His good heart for you.

    2. I am struggling with the same. I am a newlywed. It’s only been a year. My husband and I are both in our second marriages. My first ended due to drug addiction, and his due to infidelity (his ex wife’s). For me, a big issue I am grappling with is that for the past 7 years of my husbands years of being divorced, prior to our marriage, he has had a big “hoe down” at his home. He gets a band and invites a ton of people. I am not a partier… or even a very social person. The thought of this makes me cringe. It will be in September this year, and I have not even spoken to him about my feelings, as I am afraid to (pretty normal, for me… with him). So, I plan to grin and bear it. But I wonder… can I do this for the rest of my life? I know it is just one day, but it just fills me with anxiety. And the party is just one aspect of how this difference plays out. I am an introvert… he is a major extrovert. Is it fair for me to endure this party for the rest of my life? I know I sound terrible, but it tears me apart. Any godly wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!!

      1. Melissa,

        Goodness, y’all both had some rough experiences in your first marriages. 🙁 So heartbreaking!

        It would really be sad if that one day became a huge, destructive issue in your marriage. Has he talked about his expectations about that day with you? Have y’all had conversations about your introverted personality and that big crowds give you anxiety? Perhaps you can work together to come up with a plan to make that day fun for him and more bearable for you. Maybe that one day doesn’t have to be about you? Maybe it is a gift you can give to him that he will enjoy because that is his personality and that is where he really shines and feels energized and loved. And there will be many other days that you can have lots of space and time to yourself that you can enjoy – but that may be harder for him.

        How is your walk with Christ going? What have you been praying about regarding the party?

        Much love to you!

  3. I am so frustrated! I just wrote one of my marathon comments, for about 30 minutes, and my stupid ipad locked up!!! It happens too often, and as crazy as it sounds, even that makes me feel like I’m not supposed to have needs or emotions. I shouldn’t be sharing, so the technology deletes the comment. Grrrr!

    Anyhow, yes I sure do identify with the poster except for one major difference. I don’t get angry with God. He is my Creator and Lord. He Created everything. I’d be scared to get mad at Him. Even that makes me feel badly, that I am a bad person – because I don’t like myself much and I often feel I’m a waste of oxygen. But saying that is like saying God made a mistake when He made me, and we all know God doesn’t make mistakes, so that makes me a bad person for even having that thought – and it’s all very circular and exhausting!!

    “So all time is spent trying not to need, trying to meet all others needs, trying not to mess up, attacking self with every mistake, guilt fear and failure.”

    I identify with this statement. Part of it is from my childhood – being repeatedly reminded and punished for every mistake. I was raised in an unsaved home. In fact (and this is funny) my mom was here last week and she was constantly bringing up the mistakes I made as a child. Her boyfriend asked if we go camping and my mom jumped on that one. She said, “Her? Oh no. She’s a quitter. We went to Girl Scout camp when she was six and she wanted to quit. She quits everything. Her sister and I were in another section of the camp, and just because she wanted to see me and her leader kept saying no, she wanted to quit. Remember? Remember what a baby you were and how you never wanted to see anything through? So no, she doesn’t camp.” Did I mention I was SIX when this happened? Did anyone think to remember that that was the year my mom went back to work and I had to get myself up, dressed, and to the school bus – on time – and remember to lock the door or get in severe trouble – and I was SIX years old? Perhaps I was under a little stress that year. Oh no, sorry, I was a big baby. I cried too much. I wasn’t a big girl like my ELEVEN year old sister who left a half hour before me and didn’t have to remember to lock the door because that was my responsibility.

    How ridiculous is that? My husband and kids are kind of flabbergasted when she goes on like that, but is it any wonder I don’t deserve to have feelings or needs?

    Another part of it is from being saved in a very legalistic church. Being saved – great! Legalism – bad. Any mistake you made, even regarding skirt length, brought your salvation into question.

    We are in a healthy church now. Yes, in Christ all things are new. I need to focus on that. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard. The past is so ingrained, and the holidays don’t make things easier. My extended family is big on “memory lane” and it’s usually always negative.

    Well this comment is way different than my original one. Guess I went on a different tangent! 🙂 Anyhow, welcome back! It’s so good to talk to all the ladies again!

    1. Becca,

      I hate that! It is VERY frustrating to lose all of that writing. 🙁 I wonder if it might be helpful to type it up somewhere where you can save it as you type and then copy and paste?

      Interesting that you don’t get angry with God. That is awesome!

      But how it breaks my heart to hear you talk about that you feel like you are a waste of oxygen! OH MY HEART ACHES!!!! Our son sometimes says similar things – and I get upset with him. I let him know that I will not allow anyone to speak about either of our children that way – not even him! He is precious in the sight of God. He has worth because of what Jesus did for him.

      It also breaks my heart – and angers me, quite honestly – to hear the things your mom says to you. That is some seriously toxic stuff in your family of origin that is still going on. Extreme poison. 🙁

      I can’t fathom asking a 6 year old to do what your mom asked you to do. These days, I would go to jail for leaving a 6 year old at home alone. It would be called child neglect now. And, I hope you can see that it is ridiculous for your mom to label you a “quitter” for something you did at 6 years of age. I bet you were under WAY too much stress that year. I wish I could give your sweet 6 year old self a BIG hug!

      Yes, legalism is toxic – just as toxic as any other false teaching or false religion. It separates people from God, endorses pride, and tramples on the grace of Christ and the cross.

      I’m so glad to hear from you! Thank you for commenting. I am continuing to pray for your healing. I believe this will be the year, Becca. I believe this will be the year when you find dramatic freedom, healing, and spiritual deliverance in Christ. 🙂

      Much love!
      April

    2. Becca,
      you’re so good with words and painting the picture of what’s happening, did you try to write down yours frustrations and disappointments and then lift them all to God? The thing I am learning now is unfortunately we can’t change what others will say to us. How I wish my husband’s grandmother would be much more tactful; how I wish my sister wouldn’t be so rude and be more sensitive, but it doesn’t happen for now 🙁 We can only pray for such people and hope God would change them, and of course would change us and our reactions to their words; that we would become immune to the poison of their words, forgive and learn to extend grace

      1. Hi Anna, thank you for the suggestion. I don’t like to write things down. Mostly because what if I die at the grocery store or something and someone reads all of my wacko issues?
        Oddly, while I don’t get angry with God, I don’t like to bother Him, either. I mean, this is His plan for my life, and who am I to question that? I am safe, I have food, I have a warm bed. I need to be thankful for that and not whine about the things that bother me. Yes, I know He already knows, so that’s all the more reason not to bring it up.

        I guess if we’re being honest, my faith is weak at times. I don’t see that my concerns are all that important. Don’t get me wrong, I love to earnestly pray for others. I just have a hard time praying about stuff like this.

        I have learned, as a defense, to try to ignore the things that people say. What I’m learning as an adult is, although I can ignore them by not engaging, their words still take root in my heart. I think they’ve affected me more than I like to admit. I know every Christmas when someone – my sister, my niece, whoever – brings up how I ruined Christmas for my family forever by being born (my birthday is just days before Christmas) it hurts a little worse every year. My usual response is “don’t blame me, it’s not my fault I was born.”

        It’s ridiculous that my sister is upset about this 40 years later and has told her children the story of how I ruined everything. You know I wielded so much power, the horrible infant that I was. Doesn’t this sound ridiculous!? And if I get defensive my mom usually says “Oh Becca! Stop.” They don’t say much in front of my husband because I think they’re not sure what he will say. They say stuff, but not the really crazy stuff.

        Anyhow, yes, my whole set of issues requires more prayer. I still need to weed through this garbage. I think in blocking it out, I don’t pray about it. To pray about it, I need to think about it.

        And my poor husband, he suffers the effects of this. Because if he’s telling the truth when he says how much he loves me, I can’t believe him. I have never been worthy of love, so why would I be worthy of the love of a man as good as he is? I mean, I bring nothing to the table. If we are “keeping it real” I’m really more of a drain than an asset. So, yes, I guess I have a hard time accepting love. I don’t like frustrating him, but I don’t want to be a fool, either.

        Sorry! I meant to reply and then I went on and on. I do that. But thank you for listening. I keep so much inside, except for here. I don’t really have any true friends (superficial, sure, but not true friends) that I can share with because I do not trust women. Gee, I wonder why. 🙂

        That’s interesting, I never really thought about that before.

        I do trust you, April! That’s not what I meant. I need to stop rambling here before I stick my foot in my mouth…

        1. Becca,

          Thank you for sharing! I know that these issues are SO important to uncover and talk about. I’m really glad you are willing to talk through these things with us. 🙂

          Your thinking about God reminds me of someone who believes in scarcity when it comes to God – as if God’s resources, time, attention, love, and power are very limited and He has to carefully ration out a few crumbs to everyone. That is not the truth about God, thankfully! He has limitless resources, love, attention, and power. He is not limited by time. It is kind of like you are standing beside an ocean of His love and you are holding a little glass eye dropper and you are afraid to take more than 2 drops at a time. My precious sister, you have the OCEAN to draw from. Get buckets. Big ones. Or the biggest containers you can find. There is enough of God to fill up your entire life to overflowing and then there is still plenty of Him to go around!

          The point of relationship and intimacy is not that God already knows things so don’t bother Him – it is vulnerability. You communicate intimacy and vulnerability by sharing your needs with God and you communicate faith and your faith grows by having exercise by trusting God for things – even though He already knows what you need. This is ALL about relationship with Him – the Source and Author of love and relationships. 🙂

          Your family has some seriously toxic energy and words from what you are describing. You don’t have to absorb that any more. You are a grown adult now – and you can choose to reject those things as complete lies. Yes, what you are describing sounds ridiculous! My son was due Christmas Eve, but he came late. Our daughter was due January 3rd but she was a week early on December 28th. Do I tell my children they ruined Christmas? NO!!!!!! It is a LOT of gifts all around the same time – which can be a bit much – but our children are precious, priceless gifts from God. No matter when they were born!

          I believe you are going to get into the middle of all of these negative, toxic thoughts, and examine each one carefully and thoroughly in the light of God’s Word. I believe you will need to write them out or type them out. You can do it here if you want to. 🙂 That is the ONLY way you can be healed is to see the lies, recognize the lies, reject them, and then choose to embrace God’s truth about Himself, yourself, your identity, your worth, your purpose, your family, marriage, love, receiving love, etc…

          There are some more lies from the enemy –

          1. I have never been worthy of love.
          2. Why would I be worthy of the love of a man as good as he is?
          3. I bring nothing to the table.
          4. I’m really more of a drain than an asset.

          These are all bold, toxic, debilitating, destructive lies from the pit of hell designed to paralyze you and steal all that Jesus has done and accomplished on your behalf. Reject the lies! Discover the truth about your worth in Christ, your security in Him, your identity in Him, how you possess all that belongs to Christ and you are a joint-heir with Him when you are in Christ. You – because of Jesus – bring all of the treasures of heaven with you everywhere you go. You are not a spiritual pauper. You are a daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords. You don’t have to live on spiritual crumbs. Jesus has abundantly provided for you – Becca. His love is overflowing for you. Not because you did anything to earn it. But because that is who He is. You can choose to receive His love and provision.

          You have had things backwards. You have been graciously receiving the lies and schemes of Satan with open arms, rolling out the red carpet for him. And you have been slamming the door on Jesus. No! Kick Satan and his lies and his agenda to the curb and yield graciously to God!

          He can and will heal you if you are willing to allow Him total access to every dark corner of your life, to all of your thoughts and mindsets and warped fixed beliefs – He can help you correct them and receive REAL Life and Love!

          Much love!

          1. I heard a great suggestion for all of us. Petition is only one kind of prayer, and if we do it all the time, even we might start to think we sound like we’re begging and being a hassle. So, what do do?

            Maybe other kinds of prayer, like adoration. Perhaps you can spend time with the Lord contemplating the mysteries of the faith. The Trinity, His birth, the miracles, and so on. These types of prayer can help us take us out of ourselves.

            If you have children, ask yourself, “Do I ever get tired of hearing my children say ‘I love you’ to me?” I certainly don’t! God feels the same way too when you tell him that you love him and spend time in adoration.

            God bless!

        2. Becca, I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry you have gone through these things. It breaks my heart to hear the words that you have had to hear for years when you should have heard what a blessing you are instead. I know that there are so many beautiful and wonderful things about you and that God has given you gifts and talents that are unique to you. I pray that He will start to bring these things to mind to you — not to elevate you to some status that only He deserves, of course, but to help heal your heart of the damage that has been done by thoughtless words.

          God help us tonight. Hear our hurting hearts and speak healing and truth to us. Cut through the lies and smash these fortresses around our heart and rescue us.

        3. Becca, may I offer you a suggestion about writing things down? I feel the same as you – I would *never* leave my most private thoughts lying around in a journal somewhere, because yes, there is always the possibility that somehow, someone might find it and read it.

          What I do to keep a journal is this: I created a secret email account that nobody knows about but me. I memorized the address and password and they are not written down anywhere. When I feel the need to get out my thoughts, I sign into that email address and write my journal entry as a new draft email.

          By now, I have hundreds of drafts. I can read over them or add to them whenever I want, and even if I were to die tomorrow, not a soul would ever know of their existence.

          I would encourage you to do something similar. I find when my emotions are really getting out of control, it helps me a lot to write stuff down – especially, it helps me to nail down exactly what it is I should be praying about.

        4. Hi Becca 🙂

          Regarding your comment about you feeling like you don’t bring anything to the table or that you’re not an asset – many believing husbands do not have believing wives who pray for them, but yours does! My boyfriend and I are both believers and I love him a lot, but for whatever reason, I find it hard to pray for him or I forget. Praying for your family is a huge asset. <3

          Love,
          Flower

    3. Dear Becca,

      This perspective is later after a lot of healing and God bringing the lies I was believing out into the Light where they could be exposed for the poison that they are. I definitely did not think I was angry at God, or anyone except myself. The only person I would allow myself to be angry at was me. I couldn’t even bring myself to say I was angry at most people even if I really was. I did not have words or a way to voice my beliefs or pain. I was a voiceless victim.

      But – every negative thought, fear, depression, self-loathing, self-attack, and anxiety that I allowed to fester in my heart and mind – was really saying “God is not good. God made everyone else capable of being fixed by Him or even loved by Him, but not me. God made me so horribly that all I deserve is bad. I don’t deserve to eat or live or breathe.”

      This is obviously from the Enemy. Only the Enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy. To keep us so paralyzed in our self-hatred that we can’t receive any good thing, lest we start to see our true position in Christ – Warriors, Princesses, Priests, and Ambassadors of the Most High with the authority of Christ on our side and God Himself fighting for us! I, in my pride, put myself as judge over me and even God – saying God did a bad thing when He made me.

      My self-righteousness and self-condemnation was saying I was more righteous than God in His ability and power to redeem and forgive me through the Blood. It was saying my sin and problems and weaknesses are so infinite, that God and Jesus and the Cross and the Blood are not powerful enough to work in my particular case. I could only see the holes, darkness, and what was missing. My unbelief and hardened heart could not see that God was for me, that there was a way out of my prison or that God was good and would truly work for good in my life.

      I did not know the power of words – the words we say to ourselves and receive from others. It sounds like you received many words of death and curses over the years- I am so sorry! I did this plenty well enough myself without having others heap on untold piles to hurt me as well!

      I am so thankful to know now – we do not have to receive those words of death, from ourselves or others. When we hear someone say something negative over us, we can remember that we are in a Jesus bubble. He is always wrapped around us, and He is our protection. When someone spews unkindness or evil at us, we can let Him receive it and we don’t have to absorb those words. We can absorb His thoughts and words about us – and they are glorious, life-giving and they set us free way beyond what we can ever imagine!

      As soon as I notice myself stuck in guilt, anxiety, or self attack and even physical symptoms (which often manifest when we are believing lies or stuck in things like unforgiveness or fear) – I reject it. Often we need to reject it out loud in the Name of Jesus and receive out loud His love and protection and provision. If I can’t even think clearly enough to say all of that in the middle of attack, I think “Jesus” over and over in my head until I have the strength to say His Name out loud then say it out, say His praises out loud and say scripture out.

      I am so thankful for the living Bride of Christ – churches full of His grace and truth and glory that help bring us life and healing instead of sentencing us to the law and condemnation.
      Praising Jesus with you for what He is doing and I speak words of life, healing, peace, grace and freedom over you in the Name of Jesus!

  4. Off topic – but when I am getting your emails they come in duplicate. Not sure if there is anything I can do on my end to fix it. Thanks for your help……

  5. I so love everyone’s encouraging comments and the huge bravery it takes for hurting ones to post questions and struggles. You are placing yourself in a position of receiving hope and prayer and truth and freedom and deliverance, as well as providing a path for countless others who struggle with the exact same snares who would never risk asking or posting anything in real life or online. Thank you, Body of Christ. We are made to grow and be built up in love together. No one is a burden – we are all one body – and if one part of us hurts, the others hurt with it and come to care for and nourish it. We who were comforted through our hurts, struggles and pain, now have the huge blessing of offering the same comfort Jesus gave us to those who are hurting today. Others will comfort us in our hurts and sorrows another day, because we all have scars and hurts and needs and places we need freedom and truth and healing.

  6. This post (and the related comments) are SO right on.

    Radiant and Redeemed,

    if I knew you in real life I’d give you a very teary hug in praise of the Father who is able to do all things. Then, girl, I’d high-five you and say “Amen! THAT is what I’m talking about. My. God. is. GOOD. Yes, even when he made me.”

    Becca,

    Honey! Much of our early years sounds similar (in my family of origin character attacks were common place) and I’m angry for you – that this is STILL going on in your family. Let me be clear: I’m not angry at your mother or sister or any other person you has heaped these filthy lies on you and others.

    They are not the enemy. Let me repeat, they are not the enemy.

    But we do have an enemy. Know his tactics. Arm yourself with the armor and weapons the Lord has given you for this very real battle.

    I pray for you, sis. 🙂

    Please reconsider journaling.

    My time looks something (this is a brief skeleton of the time) like this, perhaps this will be a blessing to you?

    Pray. Lord, I give you every disgusting lie that is floating around in my head and ask for your cleansing power over it.

    Write. Don’t hold back – this is an offering of your most vulnerable self.

    Shred. Instantly. Don’t answer the phone or go to the bathroom or whatever until it is shredded.

    It is only between you and the Lord.

    Pray: Jesus, cover this with your blood.

    And let it go.

    How many times does God command us in His word to not be afraid?

    Don’t let the fear of being found out (Those things I think are so mean! What if I really am all those horrible things? What if they read them – I’ll never live through the things they would say to me then!)—don’t let the fear of being found out keep you from your post in the battle.

    Fight.

    With His Love,
    Amber

    PS. Please keep sharing here. I imagine the Lord using this site and your posts to free many, many women.

    April,

    Thank you for posting this. It’s going to be fun to meet you in heaven. You have quite a treasure waiting for you there, all glory to God.

    Your friend,

    Amber

  7. Hi April and Radiant, this is not so much my problem but rather my husbands. He is consumed by the negative…even when he reads the Word he only sees the negative. He continually feels like he has to give things up to be more righteous…TV, sports, fun activities with his kids and more. I try to bring balance, speak to him about my perspective like you share above, but he gets angry and tells me the way to hell is wide and the path to heaven narrow. It has affected the kids negatively, why would they want part of this Christian life if it’s all about giving up. There is a difference between works of faith and wanting to be sanctified (which is a lifelong process) and legalism. I can’t seem to find a way to get it across to him. But for now everything I say is met with resistance so perhaps I should say no more, just pray?

    1. Pearl,

      That is hard. It is painful to live with someone who is thinking in a legalistic way or a negative way. I am thankful for my husband. He brings balance to me – especially with parenting. I would be tempted to go to extremes like your husband sometimes – no TV, cutting out entertainment, etc… Balance is important! That is why God gives children two parents.

      I Peter 3:1-6 has a powerful strategy for wives. God’s Spirit will have to do the convicting. But you can model a joy-filled, free-in-Christ, Spirit-filled, love-filled, gracious, giving, thankful, positive, faith-filled life. That would be more effective than any sermon or lecture. 🙂

      Much love!

  8. Dear Pearl, Prov 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” It may be that your husband is crushed under guilt and shame, trying his very hardest to be good in God’s holy eyes. It is drying up his life and joy because that is what the law does. It is impossible for us to find life in the law – the burden is too heavy. If we break even one commandment we are under a curse.

    I think if he sees joy, light, life and grace in your eyes; sees that you have peace and a nearness to God that he is trying to have – God will use that more powerfully than words can ever convey. When we only receive negative from the Word, we are also only receiving negative from everything, including our spouse and environment, even food. (I started reacting to everything with increasing allergies and health problems too. I attacked myself, and that allowed the enemy and my body to attack me too). We are very toxic and find it impossible to get clean because we are trying to do it ourselves rather than receive what Jesus already did. When others point out “more faults” to us trying to help us be set free, we feel more angry and more guilty and fight back, since we are already drowning in failure and really think we know God and how to be close to Him if we just tried harder.

    Only God can open our eyes to His goodness and grace. He gets us to the end of ourselves and any kind of thinking that we have any ability to save ourselves or have any teeny source of good in ourselves at all.

    Two things that convicted me when I was so bitter and hurting and full of unbelief were
    1) people full of powerful faith for themselves and those around them today
    2) people who did not speak negatively at all, but rather scripture, thanksgiving and praise

    Jesus has given you huge authority to speak mighty things into being as a believer . Say “I speak freedom, life, for eyes to see and ears to hear and a soft heart that can turn and be healed for my husband. Speak to his unbelief and inability to receive grace and love to really decrease and his faith to increase. He needs deliverance from old sins, old habits, lies, attack, generational sins, generational curses. So get your Spiritual armor on each day for this battle, and with the sword of the Word cut those curses and lies and sins in the Name of Jesus that have a hold on your husband, you and your kids. Kick those demonic forces out of your house. “In the Name of Jesus I cut all demonic assignments against me, my husband, our children and our home. I bind them and send them to the Cross to be dealt with by Jesus.” “I loose His love and power and blessings and His Spirit to work in our hearts and our home and to reign with His peace over us and our marriage.” Or if that feels too strange to pray at first – find prayers like Ephesians 3:14-21 and Col 1:9-14 to pray over him.

    When you pray, thank God that He has already done these things instead of asking God for these things – because Jesus said “It is finished” on the Cross and that He has already blessed believers with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (and many other verses and promises for believers). “Thank you God that my husband already has freedom in Jesus – for “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Thank you God for deliverance from lies and strongholds in my husbands heart and thinking, for Your arm is not too short to save, and You still set the captives free, and those who look to You are radiant and will never be filled with shame. Thank you that I am radiant because I am trusting in You. Thank you God that You are working in our hearts and our home. And then praise Him! He is worthy of it! He is Faithful and True. He is the object of your faith – and worthy of our trust. He is infinitely good and way more interested in us loving and growing in Him than we are. And He inhabits the praise of His people. And our praise is a weapon that opens new pathways and routes the enemy. Blessings!

  9. Going through older posts, and I so relate to this one. As a matter of fact, this is all me! God showed me that I have unbelief in my heart, and that I do not recieve His love. It’s like I can’t. I know that the Bible says He loves me and it speaks of all His goodness, so it’s a head knowledge, but then I don’t allow anything to happen in my heart. Even worse, I don’t WANT to recieve it because I have been so let down in many different ways. Either rejected, slighted, treated disrespectfully in front of others. And this from the very brothers and sisters I serve with. It has just been a rough few years.

    My mom brought me up to know the Lord. So, as a little girl, I just knew God was there. I knew Him, I was aware of Him, and I was in awe of Him, especially when my mom would talk about Him. And when I first reconciled with Him (after having walked in the world many years) I FELT, in my HEART, His love for me. It took over me and I was so happy to be home in Him again, just like as a little girl.

    Now, after six years of walking with Him, I had let idols in my life (a guy I have been obsessed with, but continually rejected by). This along with the other things mentioned. So, I am at a point today where I can no longer recieve God’s love. I have even cried and cried because I come close to even believing that His love and goodness is all a lie, and that I can’t sense it anymore. I think I have made myself so afraid of more pain, that I don’t want to open my heart to anything. My circumstances to me are more real and more frightening than the Love of God is real and powerful.

    Yes, I am always wanting be the do-gooder, maybe to keep good relationships. Always wanting to be the nice one, not showing emotions or anger (I have been mocked when I have gotten angry in the past.) So, I just live with a wall up in my heart, unwilling to feel anything but numbness. It’s a sad state my heart is in, but I am happy because God showed me this. Now, my only hope is faith, believing God. I feel like i had an easier time believing every word of God as a child. Now that the trials of life have come upon me, it’s like I have become stubborn.

    Please pray for me 🙂

    1. Angela,

      Of course I will pray.

      Lord,
      We pray for Angela’s eyes to continue to be opened by Your Spirit. Give her heart fertile ground to receive Your truth and love. Let her see with new eyes and receive all the love, truth, and LIFE You have in store for her. Let her lay down all of her idols, sins, fears, and expectations for this world and yield completely to You alone as LORD of all!

      Amen!

      I would love for you to also read this other post by Radiant, I think it will be such a blessing.

    1. Krista,

      I pray that this may be a big step toward findin healing. This mindset that Radiant had was so toxic! I praise God that He delivered her from it, and I praise Him that He can and will deliver you, as well, my precious friend! ❤️❤️❤️

  10. April,

    I cannot tell you enough what a comfort it is to have you on my side and I am pretty sure I speak for all the sisters who visit your blog. I am eternally grateful that you heard God’s calling to speak His Word and share your journey with all of us. Your precious time, love, dedication and wisdom have forever changed my life. I pray that God will continue to bless you and your family and that you will forever remain filled with His Love.

    Many prayers and love,
    Krista

    1. Krista,

      You know what? I didn’t have anyone to share these critical truths with me for so long in our marriage. And I never really had a godly mentoring wife who met with me on a regular basis. I had to learn so much of this on my own – just God, me, my journal, and about 30 books. It was painful! And slow! BUT – what an honor and privilege it is for me that God allows me to share these things with my sisters in Christ in this place. Nothing brings me greater joy than to get to give the treasures of Jesus to others and to watch Him transform lives and do miracles in families. I cannot keep these blessings to myself!

      What an answer to prayer to me that God is blessing you and speaking to you here. WOOHOO!

      Much love, my precious sister! Thank you for the prayers. I pray that God will continue to speak and move in your heart for His greatest glory! I can’t wait to see all that He wants to show you and all that He plans to do in your life. 🙂

  11. This is exactly what I am struggling with through 41 years of marriage. Many times I feel like I am sinning for having independent thoughts and choices apart from my husband, the Christian status-quo (or even God)…

    I never wanted children, choosing to work outside the home after graduating college with a teaching degree… as I think back over those years, I wonder if it would not have been easier just to give up all my wants, desires, needs and be a mindless obedient Stepford wife. But then in the 80’s, I read a book by a woman who did just that and she had a bad nervous break-down. I cannot remember her name but it was back before the internet gave place for women to air their stories about how patriarchy was destroying them. All I remember is that her husband was a famous sports (basketball?) athlete.

    My husband says he does not go along with all that patriarchy stuff but at times he sure acts like it when I make independent suggestions or choices.

    For instance – this incident which happened yesterday:

    My husband asked me to pick up something from the store. I told my husband I would get Brand X because it was cheaper at another location and he got mad because he wanted Brand Y – then accusing me that no matter what he said, I would decide against him and get my way no matter what (implying that I am sinning for deciding something different than him). Of course, I gave in and bought what he asked to keep the peace and to keep from sinning. But let us reverse the situation. If I ask him to pick up Brand X but he decides to get Brand Y for whatever reason – according to patriarchy – he is not sinning for deciding different from me because he is “head of the house” but for me to decide different from what he asked is a sin because I am to be submissive.

    Now I know there is the true truth and with that will come freedom “Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden light” about my status as Christian wife —and what submission really means. I guess someday I will find out.

    1. esbee,

      Patriarchy isn’t the main thing, in my view, the main thing is our submission to Christ as Lord. Would it be okay if I get a feel for your definitions of the words authority and submission and maybe we could talk a bit about these things and how they relate to marriage?

      As a wife, if your husband prefers a more expensive brand, yes it shows honor and respect to him to get what he prefers. If your husband was getting something for you and you preferred a more expensive brand and it was a big deal to you, it would be thoughtful, considerate, selfless, and loving of him to get what you would most appreciate. Now, if the item was so expensive that it ruined the budget, then a husband or wife may not be able to get what his/her spouse wanted. But husbands are also called to be selfless, self-sacrificing, servant-hearted, grace-filled, gentle, loving, honoring, and respectful to their wives, as well.

      Did you grow up in a church that was very legalistic about marriage roles, by chance?

      I invite you to search my home page and read all of the posts on:

      – submission
      – submit
      – authority
      – headship

      Submission is not about passivity or being a “mindless Stepford wife” at all, thankfully!

      Much love to you in Christ!

      1. esbee,

        So what I mean is – it is not about that we trust our husbands more than anything. This whole thing is ultimately about that we trust God more than anything and we are willing to do things His way – however He decides is best.

        Once we are willing to yield ourselves to Him and trust His wisdom that is higher than our own – then we can hash through the details and try to be sure we are understanding rightly.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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