Troublesome Topic: Audry’s Story

I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home by loving parents. I am the baby in a family of 7 children. There are 6 years between number 6 in line and myself. My teen years were spent almost like that of an only child. I don’t have a lot of memories from my years growing up and the memories I remember most are difficult times. I grew up in a time frame when the teaching about self-esteem was gaining popularity. My dreams, plans and feelings were important. I was something special and deserved respect. The whole concept that I deserved to be treated a certain way caused friction between my father and me. When all my brothers and sisters came home, I, in my pumped-up self-esteem state, expected to be treated one way and instead I was called spoiled and teased. I began to dread family get togethers. I believe I was so focused on myself that I failed to see the ways in which they were lovingly reaching out to me. This mindset has continued to have a huge effect in my life.

My mom was very good at listening to all my confusion and trying to help me think through situations I faced through the lens of Biblical truth. I am also very thankful for the loving support of my husband through the years. He has patiently dealt with how the baggage I carried affected our relationship. Through our lives in ministry there were situations where my baggage affected how I responded to others around me. God has dealt with me in this whole area of self-esteem in several steps that seemed huge and insurmountable to me at the time, but with hindsight I see that they were small baby steps. I began to try to get to know the people in my life by asking questions and becoming part of their sharing of memories. God helped me to see that I needed to forgive them for hurts and misunderstandings that they were probably not even aware of. They were not intentionally trying to cause me pain. God helped me see them as being on a journey which helped me to be patient with them as I started to build healthy relationships with them.

During the time of the COVID shut down, I specifically set aside time to really allow God time and space to work in my life. I spent more time in His Word and journaled as I read. Prayer times became very meaningful. Paul and I began praying together as a couple which drew us closer together as a couple and strengthened our relationship. I started fighting some battles that I thought had already been won. I began to wonder what was wrong with me. It seemed like I was back at square one dealing with past baggage I thought was history. Now that I look back on it, I see that it was an attack of the enemy because he saw spiritual growth on the horizon and was fighting me with every tool he had at his disposal. It was a confusing but rich time. As I continued to pour my heart out to God, He began to help me see my struggles in the light of His Word. I’m so thankful for wonderful resources that godly individuals wrote that helped to support me in this journey, but God’s Word is the chief source I draw upon for truth in fighting the battles against the enemy.

The concepts that I am sharing with you are glimpses of what God taught me during many years, but the majority of this information comes from the last year and a half. Just when I think that I have reached a point of great maturity, I experience a time of testing. I am by no means speaking from a point of mastery of the principles that I am sharing, rather these are things that I am having to speak to myself sometimes multiple times a day. We will never be through fighting our spiritual battles until we enjoy our eternal home. Battles should be viewed as normal in our lives.

It is my prayer that through these various points that I share about, the Spirit of God would help you see how these things can help you in your journey to spiritual maturity and equip you to fight the enemy with the power of God’s Word. We are all wounded in some way from our past experiences, but it is our choice whether those wounds keep us in bondage or help to make us better servants for Christ. Emotional wounds and hurts can actually be an opportunity for growth if we allow the Spirit the freedom to work.

Come, lets encourage each other on this journey!

The next lesson is: Books Audry Recommends for Emotional Healing