Faith can be a powerful tool of power when fully understood but it takes courage to believe in that possibility.
In this post, I want to demonstrate how the Lord taught me that the heart is where the abundance or lack of faith resides. Further on from that I want to encourage you to believe wholeheartedly in the possibility of faith changing your families, organisations and churches.
As mentioned in my previous blog and videos updates there was a time in my life that all I had was despair. There were many instances where I couldn’t be a child and was forced to grow up very fast. Neglect from parents working all the time, abuse, alcoholism in our home, being bullied at school led me on a pathway of a lie.
Here was the lie: “You need to die to escape this pain”. I can tell you the day it got a hold of me too.
I was about thirteen and a sudden panic and dread washed over me that the only way I can escape my emotional pain was to die. This belief gripped my heart so fiercely that sometimes I couldn’t breathe. My belief system started that day of “You need to die, you need to die”. It was my new obsession. It was all I thought about. The movies I watched and music I listened too helped this belief system deliver home this false truth. I can remember friends saying” Hey Danielle do you want to do this… I’d think, Nah I’m going to be dead by then but I’d smile and say Sure! I just wasn’t brave enough to let anyone into my turmoil.
After two failed suicide attempts I was determined to go through with it this next time. My family was saying, Dani promise you won’t do this again? I’d look right at them and say No, I won’t. Knowing full well it was going to be the first thing I will do. With a constant picture in my mind of relief from this pain, I was determined. I didn’t necessarily want to die but I was desperate for relief from the emotional pain I was carrying. It was just too much.
The day my life changed
A terrible experience when I was 16 tipped me over the edge. I came home one day locked myself in the bathroom and took handfuls of sleeping pills, ran the bath to keep it quiet. Climbed underneath the sink and chanted these words over and over “if there is a God take me. If there is a God take me”. I remember feeling peace for the first time ever in that bathroom. I woke up many days later with family members in my room and I knew this wasn’t good. Some family members I hadn’t seen in over ten years! Most were angry with me. Why do I keep doing this they asked? I just couldn’t answer that. I remember the kindest person was my sister Shannon. She was devastated but tried to understand. My mum couldn’t stay it was too much for her. The nurses were angry too. I mean, I got it, here was a girl trying to take her life when they were trying to save others. …. Then, I had my suddenly moment.
Suddenly, I was in that bed alone everyone had left and the room was dark. I realized I WAS ANGRY! All I could think about was WHY AM I STILL HERE? Would you believe I actually felt rejected by God as well. I suddenly heard this…
Danielle, no matter how many times you do this I am not taking you. It’s not your time yet. You have work to do here. Out of the blue, it came into my head, but coupled with it was a peace and love in my heart. It came in as a knowing… as a voice that was mine but softer, gentler, kinder. It filled me with something I never had before. I knew that day I wasn’t alone. I knew that God was on my side. I HAD FAITH! For a girl who lived her whole life feeling like she didn’t belong, it saved me. I should add here I wasn’t raised with a religion so this was all new to me. I was hooked!
The good news is God directed my steps and saved and healed me. There is much more to this story but I wanted to tell it to demonstrate the importance of what can happen for people who are struggling…
This reality can be true for some people. Also, this belief system wreaks havoc on our families, churches and organizations.
There are some people who may not be suicidal but their belief system is tainted with words like this:
- You can’t let anyone in or they will hurt you like ___ did. Don’t feel it’s too painful.
- You are worthless unless you show everyone how you can juggle EVERYTHING! Stay busy to prove yourself.
- You need to show God your checklist of things you’ve done before he will hear your prayers.
- I am not good enough for ______.
- Alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography will have you forever, this is your fault….
You can fill in the blanks here about your own life.
The truth is that these lies we believe affect our faith in a major way. They affect our ability to tap into faith and see a breakthrough. We can’t have faith for what we do not acknowledge.
The Bible talks about faith 270 times! It’s safe to say there is a lot to consider as far as faith goes.
Jesus spoke on faith in the Gospels extensively. When I read the Gospels, I read how faith was challenged but it required courage. I can see how Jesus commented on the levels of faith. The ones who received healing were often the ones willing to let him know the truth of what is happening for them.
Let’s look at the woman with the issue of blood. (Matthew (9:22). She had been bleeding for twelve years. Jesus was on his way to heal a young girl who had died. This woman thought “if only I touched his cloak I will be healed” so through the throng of people she pushed and managed to touch his cloak. Jesus turned around aware that someone touched him and he says to her. “Take heart daughter, your faith has healed you” (Matthew 9: 22). This is a beautiful example of how her faith enabled her to be healed. It so touched my heart immensely when Jesus said, “take heart” I envision he could feel her pain in that moment and was compelled to encourage her. What love!
I really believe that faith has a lot to do with where our heart condition lies. To be hopeful we need to believe in the possibility that God is listening and cares about what is happening for us. It is out of this belief system that our faith grows.
Through my own story, reflecting on what your story is and considering what Jesus has already done we can safely assume heart conditions can affect our faith immensely. In the early days, I had very little faith in what God could do for me but little by little my faith grew. Today I have faith to move mountains. I trust and know God will do what we allow him to do.
Although this post may not fit you right now let me encourage you that there is someone in your world it does fit. Id encourage you to be willing to hear the lies and the pain they are in and bravely hold their hand out of it. Jesus showed us extensively how to do that and I challenge you to join me in caring for our brothers and sisters who are bound. Together, we can become dynamic tools in our families, organizations and world that become effective and change the world we live in.
I often feel challenged… How different would life have looked for me if someone was willing to not judge my choices but try to understand what belief system I was listening too? I hope I am that person, the one willing to sit with those in despair yet walk with them to the light when they are ready.
Remember! Love always wins,