60 - Receiving His Messages
[00:00:00] Hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode of life after therapy. I wanted to share a quick quote from Brene Brown that captures a lot of what I see in my clients and their struggles. She said:
[00:00:13] "I don't think that you can truly change for the better in a lasting meaningful way unless it is driven by self acceptance. "
[00:00:23] Now these two things feel like opposites, right? True lasting, meaningful change and self-acceptance. Wouldn't it mean that we wouldn't change if we accepted ourselves? I think sometimes we have this fear that if we said "We are okay. We are lovable. We are enough. " That we just sit on the couch and eat ice cream and watch Netflix for the rest of our lives.
[00:00:45] Anybody ever been afraid of that? I totally know that I have, right?
[00:00:49] But I want to tell you a story about a client I've been working with lately that may help you see how self acceptance truly creates lasting change.
[00:00:59] We're going to call this client, Sarah.
[00:01:01] Now Sarah has given me permission to share her story in hopes that you will be able to get out of some of the cycles that I have seen in her life because I've been working with her for many years.
[00:01:12] Before recording this episode, I went back and looked at some of my notes from when I first started working with Sarah and this is how she would describe herself. She would say, "I'm not nice to myself. I wish that I was closer to God, but I just feel so terrible about who I am that I don't even think He loves me. "
[00:01:32] That's how she described herself when she came to me and we first started working together. I invited her to practice new thoughts that even if that's where she's at, that's okay. That she can give herself space to love herself where she's at.
[00:01:49] It was so foreign to her, she really struggled at first. But over time she started opening up to it. "It's okay if I'm struggling. It's okay if I am worried about other people's opinions. It's okay if sometimes I'm hurt and I'm sensitive and I don't feel close to God. "
[00:02:05] I saw lots of progress as she started being more kind to herself, opening back up to God and moving forward. She had broken some of those behavioral patterns, found that love for herself within her, and reconnected to God in her day to day life. It was such a beautiful thing to see and I was so proud of her.
[00:02:27] She started branching out on her own and I hadn't seen her in a while.
[00:02:32] Well recently, she had some struggles and she started slipping back into some of those old thought patterns about herself. "Uh, I'm not enough. I'm not lovable. Why am I even trying? God is so disappointed in me. " and she started pulling back in.
[00:02:52] When she did that, she turned to some of those old coping mechanisms that she had from the past.
[00:02:59] Gratefully, she was courageous enough to reach out to me. She sent me a message that said, "I know I don't have to tell you. But it helps me move on to the next step. I did it again last night and I could blame it on all the things, but I realized it's just how I haven't been taking care of myself. I haven't stayed close to God. "
[00:03:21] She finished that message asking me for my love and for my guidance, because she felt like she needed something else to help her pull out of this. And seriously, my friend, all I wanted to give her was that love. I didn't have any judgment for her, any frustration or disappointment, I just wanted to give her the love that will help her move forward to accept herself and to give herself compassion. Well, I didn't hear back for a few days. And so I sent some more messages. I reached out again. Crickets. Didn't respond.
[00:03:58] At that point, all I could do is pray. She lives in a different state than I do and I knew that even if she didn't want to receive my message of love or respond to it, that I had given it. God would help her along the way. So I offered that love and then waited and waited and waited.
[00:04:19] And then days later she sent me back this message. And I want you to see if you see yourself in the words that she shared with me.
[00:04:28] "Hey, Stephanie, thank you for your comforting words. I know I haven't open your text but it's because I wasn't ready to hear the words. I still wanted to stay upset with myself. I went back to thinking that I had to punish myself to feel guilty so that I can change. But of course, that didn't work and it just led me to do it more and to numb out my feelings. After two days of just numbing out, I turned to worldly things like social media for comfort and of course that doesn't last long. Well, I was looking in the mirror today and realized how sad I was inside because I have been tuning out the Spirit and not listening to all of the truths that I know.
[00:05:20] Most importantly, I have not taken any action when I think about what I need to do to get back on the only path that I can feel truly happy. I might find comfort in being a part of the world, but that only lasts for so long before I start feeling deep loneliness and depression. I feel guilty because of all of the good things that God has done for me and the miracles that I have personally experienced. And then I just so easily slip away from him. He deserves more from me. Does that all make sense? "
[00:06:03] After I read this message from Sarah, my heart just wanted to burst with love for this cherished daughter of God. I knew the cycle she was in well. I had seen it in myself and so many of the women that I've supported that, "I need to be better because God is so good for me. And He deserves for me to be better. "
[00:06:25] But my friend, can you see the lies that are sneakily hidden in that belief?
[00:06:32] *When we think we need to do better for God, that he deserves for us to be better, who are we relying on? *
[00:06:43] Whose strength do we feel like we need to bolster up to get out of that hole?
[00:06:49] Where is our focus? Is it on the strength and love and message of hope that God is so willing to give us right there ready? Just receive it. Or is it focused inward? On trying to just use our willpower to move past our humanity so that we can prove that we are enough.
[00:07:12] Here's what I found myself saying back to this friend:
[00:07:16] "Yes, that absolutely does make sense, my friend. And I have been there many, many times in my life. But you know what I found? I will never give Him what He deserves, not even close. I will always be eternally in His debt. Not meriting the mercy, the love, and the forgiveness that He gives me.
[00:07:43] And guess what? He knows that! He knows that I will never be enough. He knows that I will never come close to being the daughter he deserves to have. And yet he still sent his son to die for me and for you to make it possible for us to return to him again.
[00:08:09] *He doesn't care about what you've done.* *He* *cares about what you do next.*
[00:08:17] Stop trying to earn his love. Stop trying to prove that you're enough. He loves you right where you're at. You just need to receive that love, accept yourself, and let him change you.
[00:08:35] You are human, my friend. You will always be while you are here on this earth and the sooner you let go of your shame for that humanity— your shame for not being grateful enough or worthy enough or obedient enough— the more easily you will feel His love that is already there waiting for you.
[00:09:01] *It's not something that you earn. It's not something that you deserve. It's something that you receive. " *
[00:09:12] And then I invited my friend to go look back in that mirror and see what God sees in her, to get on her knees, to pray and just receive that love that is already there. Just like that text message that I had sent full of love and encouragement. He has that message for her and He has that message for you, but you have to accept it.
[00:09:39] Accept that you are human, flawed, dependent on God. Accept that you are 100 percent lovable and that your worth never changes. When you accept that, then you have space to move forward and let Him show you the new patterns that will be more fulfilling in your life.
[00:10:00] You will still be human. You will still fail and have those moments where you just don't feel like you're enough. But guess what? He is. Let Him make up the difference, turn to Him, strengthen that relationship, and believe that He loves you even through your flaws.
[00:10:20] Are you trying to hide from Him and take comfort in this world? Or are you seeing His loving arms stretched out still even when you struggle. Just like my text waiting for my friend to open it. Receive it. Hear the message.
[00:10:39] *God loves you. He wants nothing more than to love you right now where you're at in your life. *
[00:10:48] Are you willing to receive the message of love that He has for you today? Take time to receive it, to hear it, to feel it. Have a blessed day, my friend. God Loves you.
[00:11:03] Are you getting my TLC Tuesday emails? They are filled with tips, insights, and invitations to help you add light to your life. Go to www.thelightcoach.com/subscribe and make sure you're included. Because big things are coming and I don't want you to miss them. *Together, we can create confidence, connection, and clarity in life after therapy.*