When I first started my mental health journey, I went to a therapist who talked a lot about the blessings and curses of life. It sort of freaked me out. I just don’t like talk like, “curses,” ya know? It’s like witch crafty or voodoo’ey or something that gives me the eeby jeeby’s. It almost feels taboo.
I now realize that if you believe in good, then you must believe in evil. If there is light, there is darkness. If there are powers for good, there are powers for evil. It is not as freaky as I thought it was. As real as I believe Jesus is then I must, too, believe that Satan exists. And, quite honestly, even saying “Satan” makes me feel awkward. I think one of the most interesting quips I have heard about the evil one is that his greatest weapon is that he is able to convince us he doesn’t even exist.
The more that I have traveled on this road of emotional and mental recovery, the more I have learned that the spiritual powers of Satan are real, but not viable unless we engage in them. These ideas have become less weird the more I have studied and manipulated them with thought. Life and death. Blessings and curses. We choose them. Others provide us with them. Either way, we choose to believe them or not. The ultimate authority is not Satan and it is not us. It is God. What He says goes and we know this. We know it and yet, we often completely miss it.
I have heard it said that God can speak and it is. I’ve heard it countless times. It is part of who He is. It is part of the creation story in Genesis that even non-believers might know.
Genesis 1:1-3 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
I can honestly say that it has taken me about 10 years to really grasp the essence of the power in His voice. The power in His words. The power of His Word. At church last week I was delighted to re-remember that God created all things with His all-powerful, amazing voice. I expect it to be big and thunderous and clear. To make vibrations happen, the pictures on the walls would respond in misalignment, dogs would whimper. What I didn’t ever really realize until it was pointed out in the sermon, was that God didn’t speak humans into being. He formed us with his very own self.
Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
When He made humans, He worked us into being by thoughtfully crafting us from the dust of the earth. The sound of His voice did not create us, yet His very breath entered into the first man’s being. God made us like Him, in His image, and when He was done with our creation, He looked at all that was made and was VERY pleased.
It is with intrigue and passion at the mystery of our God that I reflect on these things this morning and how they affect the life of Dana Clary. In my own journey, I have cursed myself, my being, my workings and beat myself down so terribly: bruising, breaking, abusing myself in my mental and emotional thought life. I have used the voice God gave me to curse myself into a pattern of negativity, depression, anxiety, and instability. This cursing has affected every aspect of my health, experience on this earth, social life, and relationships.
I know I have a puny voice, feeble and wimpy – back in the day when we all still had home phones, I would answer, even in my 30’s, and the caller would ask if my parents were home! I have had swallowing issues from the MS and I wonder if even though I feel like I am speaking loudly and with effort, many people find my voice hard to hear because it is really not that audible as I believe it is. But, regardless, in my own small voice, I have the power to create a blessing in my life or to create cursing in my life, and the lives of others. I know my voice has nothing on the Creator’s, yet, I have been created in His image and likeness, and I must be compelled to believe that my voice comes with even a microscopic bit of power and authority.
I have recently been challenged by the workbook of Priscilla Shirer, “Armor of God,” to take accountability for my part in the behavior of living a cursed or dark life (pages 166-168). I chose to take what lies I heard, both as a child and adult, and build up negative beliefs about myself. I have allowed myself to live there. This negative response has been my defense mechanism and my consolation. “I’m just stupid…”
I was made aware of how to start breaking down some of the strongholds the enemy has on my life with books like, “The Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. I have most recently been engaged in a book where the author, Dr. Caroline Leaf, provides a plan of attack to overcome thought patterns and brings into consciousness the idea that our brains can rebuild themselves with a blessing and actually damage themselves with cursing. Her book, “Switch on Your Brain” comes with a 21-day journey to help overcome negative thought patterns.
I was floored to tears when I watched Beth Moore, in the opening video of her Bible study, “The Quest,” ask the question, “Who told you that?” Who told you, you weren’t good enough, smart enough, and able enough? Who told you, you were bad? Who told you, you were stupid, unfit, and messed up? If it is not in alignment with God, it is not real, unless you choose to make it real.
I would have suggested, several years ago, that there is an attitude of depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns that were completely out of my control. Genetics, environment, personal history, disease, and more could all play a role in the darkness that I was living in. At this point in my walk, however, I am led to believe that there is more power within us to free ourselves from the curses of darkness and live the blessed life God has for us. We have more choice in the matter than we would like to confess.
I am by no means completely turned from my old self, healed from my corruption, or an expert in this field of study. But, I do know that I am on a path that the Lord has crafted for me to become what He originally had designed. I am delighted to confess my part in the way I have let my mind live only because I am at the point of repentance. Seeking to change. Seeking Him first, allowing Him to reshape and remold me, and feeling the wondrous new breath of life in my spirit.
I started this journey in 2016. That’s when I first decided to reach out for help. I expect this pilgrimage I am on to last a lifetime. I am excited to share a transparent life only that others might find restoration in their own lives. It is not with expertise of any sort that I write. It is the soulful expression of the life experience of an uneducated, ordinary flower chick in little old Idaho.
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