Though life breaks us down, our true identity is found in Christ.
In one of my previous blogs “Living in the Dark Hours” I share my struggles with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), insomnia and chronic thoughts of suicide with you and the rest of the world.
This summer has been a very dark one for me. Years of trying to cope, along with my longest stretch of insomnia, eleven nights, became a very strong foothold for the devil. A very dark night indeed. I was at the brink of suicide and only God’s amazing, unfailing love can explain the people who came along side me that night and the divine intervention that occurred.
My actions that night are something I cannot understand. I know the medical and psychological explanations. However, what I did hurt others and hurt me. The things I thought, said and did seemed so far from what I knew of myself that I have trouble believing it was me. I felt as if Satan had me by the throat.
That night, my identity was shattered. Everything I knew of myself was blown apart. My personality, strength, and hope lay scattered at my feet, unrecognizable.
I have begun the work of rebuilding, working with a trauma counselor who is also a fellow believer. This week I focused on evaluating different aspects of my identity and beliefs as I see them, others see them and the world sees them. I was finally able to say out loud “my identity is gone, shattered. I do not know who I am. Others do not know who I am and the world knows no different.”
I added a fourth category throughout my written work. How does God see my identity?
“See what kind of love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!
The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
1 John 3:1 New International Version
The only category I could answer with full confidence. My identity is in Christ. I am a child of God. Period or in my Bible, explanation mark. I am a loved child of God and because of Christ’s sacrifice that is all God sees.
There was a part of me that died on that night. Leaving the only truth and absolute: I am a child of God! That is what I am!
Embarking on this road of digging deeper, rebuilding myself, and seeking healing is a scary one. I have only scratched the surface. I ask you, my readers, to intently pray over the next 15 weeks for me as I work through this journey with my counselor. Please lift both of us up and praise God for placing someone in my life to help me work through this who is also a believer.
Finally, if you struggle with these things please reach out and know you are not alone. God is with you in even the darkest of moments when it feels like Satan has you by the throat. God has placed many in our lives who are willing to support us, walk beside us and help us find healing. Reach out for these people. Jesus promises us life to the fullest.
“The thief come only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10 New International Version
I have always had an adventurous soul and proudly an “adrenaline junky.” I love to live life not knowing what is around the next corner. Some of these adventures I have chosen, others I have and would not. The combination of adventure, adrenaline and living in Colorado has naturally led me to enjoy the outdoors in ways more than a peaceful hike. Although I used to always enjoy a quiet, relaxing hike. Some of the sports I enjoy include climbing both rock and ice, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, camping and whatever other creative way I can get out and play. As I dig deeper and deeper into the word I relate so much of my adventures with the adventure of following the Holy Spirit. I hope that through sharing those adventures you may be encouraged to step out in faith and follow the crazy adventure God has for you in this life. The climb is most definitely not an easy ride to the top, but the view from the top beats any ache, pain, stumble and fall along the way. So clip into your rope and get ready for the hardest, most rewarding climb of your lifetime. I can’t wait to be at the top with you and view all of God’s splendor.
Ashley is an adaptive athlete. Although she has always had a passion for enjoying the outdoors that passion increased after having a spinal cord injury at 24 causing incomplete paralysis and muscle weakness throughout her trunk and legs. She continues to enjoy wild adventures with the help of adaptive equipment and assistance of others. There have been many ups and downs throughout the years but each reveals more and more of God’s grace and faithfulness.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV