Wednesday, January 7, 2015

created and designed for a purpose


Psalm 139

13 For you created my inmost being;

    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
Looking back at yesterday’s events, I realized something – I very much used to be the dirt thrower, the mudslinger… on anyone who was nice or happy.  I was trudging through misery and had no bandwidth for any nicety shown me, and my wretchedness exuded from every ounce of me.  I shot daggers with my eyes, and my words and their tone stung to those with whom I interacted – even when they meant me no harm at all.   It was embarrassing to those who were with me – and I had no understanding at the time why.  When admonished for my behavior, I would defend myself to my friends because I didn’t feel like I’d done anything wrong because I couldn’t hear myself.  I had no idea what I sounded like when I spoke to others out and about in public.  I was a JERK.   There probably are more appropriate words for how I behaved, but they aren’t part of my vocabulary anymore...

Yes, I walked in the darkness, even while having known my Lord.  I have groped and crawled through murk and mire.  I know from experience what it feels like to be so miserable that even on overhearing someone else’s delight, or even simple polite courtesy, my instant response was to throw crap at it.    Now, it really does tug at my heart of compassion – realizing that I was once in their shoes, the shoes of my “enemies”.   And knowing how completely abject I was at the time – how far deeply lost in depression.

 [ I’m not saying my haters last night were depressed or that their actions were justified.  I’m just acknowledging that I have certainly lived for extended periods not walking in the Joy of the Lord, and I know what it feels like to instinctually throw mud on JOY when you are walking around without it inside you for whatever reason.]

At the time, I had not yet come to understand that my depression could be viewed from the perspective that it was a chance to draw nearer to God.  I was still very keen on trying to get by on my own.   It was not until perhaps a couple years ago that I stumbled upon a mind blowing quote online that still resonates with me today even though I have been very much delivered from the majority of my depression:

I wish I remembered who wrote ^that or where I found it because certainly I’d give them credit as credit is due.  When I read that – it was the first moment in my life that I had ever had even an inkling of considering an attitude of thankfulness or gratitude for the depression.  I had always loathed being saddled with such a burden.  Now that I am well and restored, I understand that You gave me this package of emotional issues because You never intended for me to carry those burdens alone – THAT was all my own doing, my own stubbornness acting out.  My own rebellion.   Your design was always that these issues would ground me such that I would be intrinsically in need of relying wholly on You to live and live well. 

The Truth is You have designed me exactly the way I need to be in order to accomplish all You have planned for me – to enjoy the fullest measure of a love relationship with You.  Indeed, if I had not my “demons” as so many would call them, my innate stubbornness would dictate I might go about my life in an entirely different manner – utterly doing things on my own… which I did try to do for years in spite of my internal struggles.  Even as You called out to me, even knowing You were there for me, I lamented why You would let me suffer so if You truly loved me so much.  So instead of drawing near to You for the answer to that, I was determined that I would get by of my own means.  Oh, how well that worked out!!!  (*note intense sarcasm*)   I hid myself for years, sleeping as much of my life away as possible, self medicating to turn the pain off for brief respites… and when that failed, I turned to self harm and even suicide attempts.   And yet I still didn’t turn to You for help…

I did not understand then that You had designed me this way, knowing how obstinate I would be because You created that in me as well (I’m sure for some other purposes, perhaps to push through other trying times, maybe my tumultuous childhood and other events that still lie ahead) so that I would, in fact, always need to rely wholly and completely on You.  Otherwise I would go through life without ever realizing how vital a relationship with You is to my life – to my thriving – and I would never accomplish all the good You have called me to do, all that is now being laid before me.  Beyond that, I would lack the empathy that has become such a large and treasured part of who I am now, and possibly even my ability to communicate to the degree I can my thoughts and feelings, even my creative endeavors such as singing – which is also an incredibly HUGE part of who I am.   And these are all things for which I am incredibly grateful, talents which I have no doubt would not have developed to the level they are today had I not walked the path I have in life. 

Yes, as I say often, God has His hand in everything – You truly have a purpose for all things – and I have no doubts that You do, indeed work ALL things together for the good of us who love You and are called according to Your purposes.  No, it did not always feel like it in those dreadful dark hours, but these “demons” so many refer to are truly blessings… they are gifts that have (now that I’ve finally allowed them to do so) taught me to draw close to You.  They have shown me that I can only live my best life, the life You have always intended for me, by staying intimately tethered to You day by day, moment by moment.  And for that, I will always praise You. 

I know a lot of people reading this will balk initially at the notion that bipolar disorder, anxiety and such manners could be thought of as blessings.  And I understand that.  It is one reason You began Your words I quoted just yesterday with “But if you are willing to listen…” (Luke 6:27) because not everyone is always ready to hear AND receive every message as it is delivered.  But I trust that You are in control, God – and that the right person who needs to hear this message will get what they need to from it – and that the Spirit will further illuminate these truths to them in Your time as is fitting for Your purposes in their lives.

Praise You, praise You for all the good that can be done here!
May this message be blessed that all who read it
might come to know You a little better.
All for Your Glory, Your Honor,
Your Name and Your Kingdom!


If you are struggling with any emotional issue,
or truly any hard time of any kind...
And it's hard for you in this moment to truly believe
that God can use what you are dealing with
or what you've been through in the past for GOOD
both for your life and for His purposes for His kingdom,
I encourage you to pray and listen to
and allow God room to move in your heart today.


Until next time...

You are loved more than you know!
Be blessed! <3

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© K. Michelle Payne 2015

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