Assessment

Assessment-Sometimes we all need to conduct a honest, biblically based assessment or evaluation of our lives. This assessment should include a hard look at our thoughts, feelings and behaviors as well as our strengths and weaknesses. Doing so can help us to identify those areas in our lives that if not dealt with now can cause us problems latter in our lives.

Unfortunately, some of us have been hurt so much in our past that we equate any situation or person that points out a flaw in our lives as the enemy when this is not always the case.  Don’t lie to yourself about yourself and don’t let other people lie either. Face up to your mistakes, realize your triggers, identify the doors in which the enemy can come in, set up precautions and yield to the Lord.

Not being honest about who you are can put you in a situation in which you are blindsided or leave a door open for the enemy to come in. When you ignore or minimize problems, it prevents you from being honest with yourself. It’s ok to want to believe the best about other people or ourselves, but to do so while overlooking blatant character issues or habits is not wise. How many people are in martial counseling now over issues that should have been dealt with before they got married but instead they ignored the issue, convinced themselves that they were different from other people, or told themselves that they could change the person.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about confrontation of issues not ignoring them. The Lord loves you flaws and all which is why He came to redeem us back to Himself. His spirt will lead and guide us into all truth but we have to ask Him for the power to be honest and to repent. Don’t minimize, overlook or make excuses.  You don’t have to do that, because the Spirt of God in you can handle you.  Some people minimize problems, shortcomings or weaknesses because they feel that by identifying problems they are somehow being disloyal to the person, to God or to themselves. Don’t do that.  Identify your triggers, bring them to the cross and be free. Not being honest keeps you in bondage to your flaws and puts you in a situation in which you are pretending to be something that you are not. For example, how many people are dealing with lust, anger and fear but who are going to church Sunday after Sunday pretending to be free. Don’t pretend when you can be free in Jesus. When you are honest the enemy can’t keep you in bondage with fear. Fear that people will know what you are thinking, fear that you will say the wrong thing, fear that people will not understand, fear that you don’t fit in, fear of judgement etc. The key to walking in the liberty in which Jesus Christ has made you free is to be honest. Remember a Biblically based assessment is not afraid to look at both the good and bad, a biblically based thought pattern does not walk around only looking at the good in life or thinking positive, instead a Biblically based mindset takes into account both the good and evil and biblically takes an honest look at what needs to be changed.

 

Trigger – anything, as and act or event, that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/trigger)

 

Proverbs 26:2

 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

 

1 John 2 1-3

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

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God Is So Good

GOD IS SO GOOD
 
I often ruminate about my past and become overwhelmed at some events I never imagined I would have made it through or I would be here to give testimony about these events.   I’m still marvelously amazed at the fact God had His hands on my life from the very being.  Scripture teaches us He knew me (us) even in our mother’s womb.   But when you are going through one crisis after another you sometimes wonder where God is in the midst of our storms.
 
Psa 139:13-14 KJV – For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well.
 
Going back as far as I can remember it seemed as though I never belonged anywhere or to anybody.  I also felt older than my actual years.  I guess that is because of my traumatic experiences.  I was molested at a very young age; probably about the age of three or four.  I blocked the actual experience so it must have been of such horrific magnitude that I was unable to remember then and still unable to remember now.  I remembered the excruciating pain; the inability to use the bathroom without pain and the fear of a man who used to visit our home.  I also knew this because of conversations I overheard from a few of my mother’s friends and neighbors.  Now some would say where was God in all of this?  I would say He was there and because of His grace and mercy I don’t remember the act.  The sheer knowledge that something happened was enough to push one over the edge.  Isn’t God good?  He protects us from what we can’t handle.
 
Throughout my early years there were far too many incidences of a similar nature to be mentioned.  To relive the events in detail will only give control over to the past.  I’m not saying to forget the past because I also believe that you retain some of the past to learn from the experience, to build upon that which you survived which carries you to the present where you can go back to be beneficial in someone else’s life.  Your past is your future.  How can you be of any help to someone who is going through without first-hand knowledge?  How can you show someone where and how to go without having been there first?
 
Further, there always seemed to be some old pedophile trying to get me off to themselves at the homes of family and friends, at school, on the bus, at dance school, at the movies, at the library and even going to and from church.  I learned to pray without ceasing due to fear.
 
My daily encounters with the enemy caused emotional, physical and psychological damage.  I could only wish to be through with this world.  I constantly thought about death, dying and suicide.  I felt I couldn’t tell my mother for two reason  – one she probably wouldn’t have believed me and if she would I didn’t want hurt her with the announcement that everybody she invited into her home wasn’t trustworthy.  The only person that I was able to confide in was a grandmother figure; she was the only one I could tell any and every thing.  She taught me strategies of how to avoid and deflect any unwanted encounters.  I also learned that she would listen to me all night until I passed out from shear emotional stress. We had an unspoken agreement that secrets were better left unspoken.  I knew she died carrying all my secrets to the grave with her.  Sometimes I ached so badly inside I would pray God would come and take me back to heaven with Him, where I would feel safe, secure and consoled.  Being a trained ballet and interpretive dancer and model I was able to camouflage what was seen on the outside but on the inside I was an absolute mess.  My school work and/or grades were not affected and didn’t represent how I was truly feeling inside.  But I continued to pray.
 
When I was in the eighth grade I met a guy who showed me too much attention.  I didn’t know that it was too much until it was too late.  Mothers and fathers; especially mothers pay attention to your daughters.  If you observe closely you will see in her actions and inactions, she is trying to see if she can trust you to rescue her.  What is the point in her telling you she is in trouble if you’re only able to see the situation and not the pain or her distress signal?  Beware there is some guy out there who is astute enough to read your daughter and offer her what you won’t or can’t.  I got pregnant at fourteen and married at fifteen.  This was the beginning of what I believed to be my worst nightmare.  I didn’t know this was the beginning of my demise.  Here is what I believed – I had a baby by the guy that every girl wanted and all guys wanted to hang-out with.  I had a gorgeous baby girl that no one could take from me, not my mother or her father.  Now I had someone to love and someone to love me.  We got married when our daughter was three months old.  I continued to pray.
 
Now this is where the nightmare turned into a living horror movie.
 
We got married by falsifying documents.  His mother signed for him to get married.  My mother had said she would sign for me, but she didn’t. The day we got married he quit his job.  He did not come in the house with me because he had to turn in his uniform.  When I came into the vestibule and looked, it was like the first time seeing where I was to live.  It was then that I started unraveling.  I tried to pray but the noise in my head made it difficult.
 
He began to abuse me on all levels, including spiritually.  He also began using and selling drugs, committing robberies, and having unprotected adulterous affairs.  As a teenager I had to grow-up real fast to be able to handle the fallout of his criminal activities and his sexual encounters with others.  When we make bad decisions we have to accept the consequences of our behavior.  But I still prayed for help.  God answers pray.  We may not think so because sometimes it is not the answer we want.
 
Out of anger, pain and peer pressure I also had an affair.  What is good for the goose is not good for the gander.  Revenge and retaliation nearly cost me my life.  My husband severally beat me and tried to kill me and a male friend who I wasn’t having an affair with at that time.  I ran away, he found me, beat me and forced me to be with him several times.  My mind could not take anymore.  I went to a psychiatrist who dispensed medication from his office.  I misused my medication so I wouldn’t have to think.  It helped numb my emotions.  As impossible as it may seem I was able to maintain some semblance of normalcy.
 
As things worsened I wasn’t able to focus or concentrate on things that mattered; I couldn’t make it to work on time, I couldn’t stay the entire day, I wouldn’t call in or  I didn’t show up.  It was inevitable that I would lose my job at the National Archives.  I had another failed relationship which added to my woes.  I did not pray, because if I had done so I wouldn’t have attempted suicide.  But maybe I did pray and that is why I was unsuccessful in taking my own life.
 
For many years I was in and out of psychiatric units in local hospitals.  Each hospital, psychiatrist and therapist prescribed different medications.  I was misdiagnosed as borderline schizophrenic.  I became severally depressed and made more attempts at taking my life.
 
I was sent home on a week-end pass to have the opportunity to prepare myself, my daughter and family of the latest development of my treatment plan.  It was determined that I needed to be sent to an institute.  My godmother asked me to speak with a minister friend of hers.  The minister prayed for me and asked to read “Foot Prints” which just happened to be in the newspaper.  The statement – “…that is when I carried you” was an epiphany.  Then a voice said to me, “if you go in you won’t come out.”  This was a turning point for me.  It was then that I understood that God loved me when He carried me when I couldn’t carry myself.  He was always there and He waited until I realized that it is He that I have been seeking.  He is a gentleman and would not force me to accept Him.  He waited patiently for me to truly acknowledge Him.  He waited until I discovered all the things I employed to sustain me no longer worked.  There was nowhere else to turn but to Jesus. 
 
John 3:16 KJV – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
 
I wish I could say all went well from this point on.  That would be a fairy tale with a happily ever after ending.  What I can tell you is -because of Him I got my GED, attended American University, had a successful career and learned that my life wasn’t my own to destroy.  I also learned that suicide was a sin and I could be separated from God for an eternity.  I didn’t want to go there because I suffered a type of hell right here on earth.
 
My hope in sharing some of the events of my past is, in the telling I may be of some help to those who are experiencing the most difficult times in their lives.  God knows our every sin, even those that we have committed and forgotten and those sins that we will commit.
   
Job 11:16 KJV – Because thou shalt forget [thy] misery, [and] remember [it] as waters [that] pass away:

 

 
 Constance Martin. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved

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Suicide Prevention

If You Know Someone in Crisis

Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)  at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to everyone. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889. All calls are confidential. Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency.  Learn more on the NSPL’s website .


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