If you can, before reading the post, take a few minutes to listen to the music linked below:
Psalm 139 - Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
Before I got into this scripture, I always started by listening to the song I linked above.
"There's not a place where I can go, there's not a season You're not in. You have tasted suffering. You know the storm that I am in. I place my trust within Your hands. Faithful Father to the end."
Studying this chapter has been a very difficult time; it is hard for me to swallow. I started reading this February 26, 2019 and I just finished on June 1st. I wrote out verses 1-6 constantly; that was my focal point from February to March and then from April through May I focused on the entirety of Davids Psalm. But why did I study it that way?
I have a lot of things that have haunted me since I was young, most of them being based around the mental. The biggest one I face on a daily basis is my self criticism and my self-hatred. I am at a constant battle with myself; reminding myself that I am beautiful, I am worthy, I am smart, that I deserve to be alive because every single atom within my body is telling me the opposite. I am able to keep a fairly good mental foundation but sometimes I crack, especially when I lack sleep for a continual period of time, have to carry a heavy load of stress and responsibilities, and/or I am spiritually stagnate. Some days it is too difficult for me to continue to fight and I end up in a place where I completely shut down and kick everyone out. That was where I was headed in February.
I was taught the importance of speaking things into existence and practicing what I preached, so the only thing I could do in early February to March was write it out. The first six verses are talking about God's knowledge of David's thoughts and things David himself cannot fully understand.
If I had a panic attack or could not find a single thing within myself to love, I wrote out those verses because God knows me better than I do myself. I knew He could start working within me before I was able to understand what was happening. Even if my mind was clouded with hatred and I could not think straight, I knew I could read and write what I saw even if I did not believe it. Most of the time I did not believe it. I felt isolated. I could not feel the presence of God. I felt like everyone hated me. I felt less than adequate, yet I still faithfully wrote out verses 1-6. Most of this was a blur when it came to my thoughts, all I can truly tell you is that I hated myself and then a majority of my self hatred turned into compassion.
I knew that God was aware of what I was going through, He created me - of course He knew. "Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether" vs.4 ESV. He knew every hurtful thing I thought about myself. I still get angry and ask Him why He created a human that naturally hates herself. I always get brought back to verse 13 and 14; He formed my inner parts, He knitted me in my mothers womb, I praise you Lord, for You have fearfully and wonderfully created me. It took me a while to admit that God did not abandon me and was well aware of my struggles but that I actually was pushing Him further away in my self despair.
Every single flaw I have and every mental battle I face is for God's glory. It brings me closer to God (after I am done pushing him away) because I have no other thing to run to that will help me the way God does. God takes all of the things that we think are imperfect and uses them to bring about miracles and to show His creation how powerful He is. Exodus 4:11-12 ESV "...Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak." This verse was directed to Moses who knew that he was not a good public speaker. The Lord was ready to show His power through Moses and speak through Him but Moses was fearful.
Why should I fear?
Everyone has their battles, and this is one of mine. It is something I have to continually practice. Studying Psalm 139 is not a cure to my mental health but it is a step in the right direction. I am relying on God to reveal to me the other steps I need to take to become stronger mentally. Yet, that does not make me any less fearful.
I am afraid. God has made me the way He has for a reason. He has placed this fire in my heart, this passion to share my life. To be vulnerable. To be transparent. I am afraid. I have seen what people can do when there is no compassion in their heart. I have lived a life full of sin and destruction and there are many people who have witnessed it. I am afraid to put my life out in the open. I am afraid because I continually pray and ask God if this is what He is calling me to do and I have not received a "No". That is terrifying. There is no place I can go and is there is nothing I can do to hide from God. So I have to stop fleeing and answer the call He has placed on me because His hand will guide me through it all.
"If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me." vs.9-10 ESV