Uplifting in Discouragement Part 4: Final

During the conference, after I had begun to feel the healing process take place in my soul and body, I can honestly tell you that the spiritual warfare began immediately. All of the sudden, I found myself being so distracted, especially during the worship times. I began judging women, which honestly is one thing that I pride myself in not doing. I asked for God to help keep my attention on Him, on worshiping Him and thanking Him for what He was doing.

I could hear things in my brain that are things the real me would never think about. In the middle of a Christian conference. But that just goes to show that God was doing amazing things not just for me, but for hundreds of women. The devil was feeling threatened.

While that’s a great thing, it can also be dangerous if you don’t put your guard up. I had visions of the next week, and saw Satan slowly taking away everything I learned and me spiraling down into my dark place that I so often used to go. I did not want that.

When I felt like I was being healed, I thought to myself, “Wow, God is moving in me and soon, I won’t have to deal with this thing that has plagued me for eight years!” Then I thought about cancelling my therapy appointment because I knew God was going to heal me. But then when I felt that spiritual warfare, I knew that I couldn’t count on myself to keep moving forward. Especially since it had been eight years. I believe that God made therapists and counselors for a reason and so even if it was just for the first appointment, I would go.

And I did. And I love her. She is a Christian counselor who understands how big of a role my faith plays in my healing.

So, me writing all of this down is for me to never forget. Ever. I can say that even since the conference less than two weeks ago, I have had to reread in times of despair. Even just on Saturday, Husband had to help me consciously stop saying terrible things about myself that I didn’t even realize I was. And if someone gains something from this story, well, that’s even better.

I am still constantly a work in progress, but I believe in a God who heals.

Healing

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Final Worthy Wednesday

16 weeks ago, I started a weekly post called Worthy Wednesdays, about finding my self worth and value to the world. Originally, I had committed to 20 weeks, {or until mid-February} but I have to tell you: I feel like starting this new year is a great time to finish, because I feel like I can be done with this.

I don’t know how or why, but in doing this, I feel like my quality of life is so much better, and I can truly look at myself and say that I am happy. I am human, like any of you, and will have a bad day or two, but I can face it. I no longer have a massive guilt hanging over my head, weighing me down. I no longer punish myself for making a small mistake, or worrying so much about what other people think of me. I have embraced myself.

I still hold myself accountable for the things that I do, and think deeply before I do or say something {most of the time – human, remember?}, but I feel a freedom I’ve never felt. This isn’t supposed to be some warm and cozy “love yourself” kind of thing. I can really only say that God took me through this journey, and it is by Him alone that I am able to proclaim all of this.

I hope someone somewhere has also benefited from reading my stories and my journey. I hope that they will not be afraid to say what’s on their mind and talk about their feelings. It’s a scary thing to be raw and vulnerable, but the freedom you get from just speaking aloud about it is far beyond any fear that you may feel in the beginning.

So, this being the last Worthy Wednesday, and even though it’s a week after the new year, it is still a new year. I think the best way to end this chapter is to remind myself of some of my favorite moments of last year, thinking of all the good things that happened to me, and not dwelling on any devastation or loneliness of 2012.

I’m sure someday I will have to go back and read through all of my WW posts to remind myself of how far I’ve come, because we know that sometimes people stumble along the way. If I do, I will pick myself and keep moving forward.

WW FinalEnjoy 🙂

Cabbage & Chicken Soup

I have always been intrigued by the cabbage soup diet – not so much the diet aspect of it, but does the soup actually taste good? I thought it might.

Husband spent most of his day on a plane yesterday, and getting home from the airport after 2 flights totaling 4 hours, and 3 hours at airports, he finally arrived at 6:30 PM, utterly exhausted. I thought he would hate his life when he heard that we were having cabbage soup for dinner. At first, I’m pretty sure he did – but when he tried it, he surprised me by saying, “this is really good stuff.”

That’s more props than I usually get! You know Husband thinks something is good when he says, “yeah, it’s good.” But when he thinks it’s great, you don’t even have to ask – and he uses the word “really”.  A man of few words, that one is.

Cabbage has many healing properties. For one, ancient Egyptians used to consume cabbage before a night of drinking – and cabbage is still considered a hangover cure.  Being deemed an “elixir of youth”, it also detoxifies the blood because of the combination of sulphur and vitamin C. Cabbage is a magic vegetable for your core, healing ulcers, improving digestion and eliminating constipation.

A hefty kick of spice from cayenne pepper makes this cabbage soup far from bland, with the protein and filling benefits of chicken.

| Cabbage and Chicken Soup

1 TBS olive oil

1 TSP salt

1/2 TSP black pepper

1 TSP cayenne pepper

1 whole red onion, chopped

1 head of cabbage, shredded

1 – 10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies

4 chicken breasts

8 C water

In a dutch oven on medium heat, sautee the onions in oil until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the whole can of tomatoes with chillies, water, chicken breasts, salt, black and cayenne peppers. Cover, reduce to medium-low, and let stand for 1-2 hours.

Take out each chicken breast and shred by pulling apart little pieces with 2 forks. Add chicken back into the dutch oven and bring to a boil, adding cabbage. Cover and let boil for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat back to low for 5 minutes, still covered.

Chicken & Cabbage Soup

Serve and enjoy!