God is not finished with me

My name is Lisa. I'm 49 years old. I am currently homeless and staying in a shelter with three other women. (The shelter is temporary, my time there ends in five days.)

I do not have any kids. I never had a desire to have my own. I do love my nieces and nephews.

Many decisions brought me to where I am now. Due to unresolved childhood issues and perceptions of myself, I've always had a void that I have desperately wanted to be filled. I became addicted to trying to earn the approval of men.

I've always felt like I needed a man to be complete and that I needed to prove my worth to men and even friends.

A common definition of that is called Codependency.

I always tried to have a man and even get negative attention. I figured negative and controlling men were better than no men. I felt a strange sense of protection and security when men were jealous and controlling. 

I got introduced to drugs and alcohol and throughout my life, I drank wine or beer, not in huge excess, but felt like I wanted to escape and take the edge off.

I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder as a child, along with learning disabilities. I was often teased by peers. My teachers often told me I would not amount to anything. I believed them and often created self-destructive patterns in my life to bypass the hurt and pain I had inside. 

I was raised in a Christian home with great parents and often felt shame in early adulthood for seeking everything but Jesus and God. 

I've always felt a deep love for God but my whole life I've struggled with fully surrendering to God. I've felt lots of fear like I'd be losing control where in all honesty I'd be liberated because my identity needs to be through God's eyes and not my own defective lens. He is love and I am his child. He is the only one who can fill my void. I too have been a people-pleaser and have tried so hard to put others before myself.

Because I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder as an adult, years ago I was prescribed Adderall. I felt alive and like a real person who could actually focus and get things done. Then, years later I changed doctors and they would not prescribe me a stimulant—they were strict about those.

Years later, I was introduced to meth. I did it off and on. Not everyday. When I did meth, I felt so alive, lots of dopamine, awake and alert. I didn't feel so self-conscious.

I went to a couple rehabs and they worked for a while but the main issue that needs to be fixed is a heart and mind issue. I’m praying for God to help me see my identity through him, since I am his beloved child. I'm still working on fully trusting and surrendering to God. He has been so faithful to me and has protected me from so many things. I've been in many situations where he protected me and kept me from dying. I almost died from sepsis after a cruise I took, I was in the hospital for 9 days.

All this to say God is not finished with me. Or you.

Thankfully I'm doing okay now and not giving up. This is my time to open my eyes, trust God completely and let go of the need for approval. I love people dearly and can often be a people-pleaser. I continue to pray and trust God to set me free from fear and shame. Jesus died for me and his approval is what matters. People are just people and will let you down but Jesus never changes. He never leaves us or forsakes us. Even when I’ve hit rock bottom, he has been there to help me up.

Thanks for letting me tell my story. I will never ever give up.

Lisa is distributing subscriptions to Speak Up.

Through this partnership, she gives a voice to the voiceless and earns a consistent income that will help her reach housing stability.

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