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Colette ist die wundervolle Frau von Jamie Weston, dem Gründer von Activate Love. Ihre Texte und Ansichten ihrer lebensbereichernden Webseiten und Blogs "Hearts & Minds Set Free" sind so wertvoll und gesegnet.
Then &Now - My Story
I asked Jesus into my heart when I was in junior high school, but I didn’t surrender my life to Him until into my early twenties.
This is the most important part of my story, because without Him nothing else makes any sense.
Before I knew Jesus I struggled with obsessive thoughts, fears, low self esteem and very negative thinking.
I was always looking for reassurance that I was special, accepted and wanted. I suffered with many different emotional and mental issues, but now I had given my life to Jesus so I believed all my problems would be gone.
I had new friends, a church and a purpose, so how could anything go wrong.
I spent a lot of time studying the Bible, going to church meetings, listening to Christian radio and staying busy with my new friends. I felt alive for the first time in my life. I was having so much fun!
Two years before I started my walk with God my beautiful daughter was born. She was the best thing that had ever happened to me in my life. I couldn’t believe she was really real, so I was afraid something would happen to her.
I couldn’t believe I got to keep her.
When she was around two years old, I got pregnant three consecutive times and lost all three at about three months. Then I had to have a hysterectomy because of some health issues. Hope of another child was gone.
My Christian friends were there to support me, but no one knew that I blamed myself for all of it because of some things I had done in my past. I thought God was punishing me for my mistakes.
The mental and emotional problems I struggled with during my lifetime were wreaking havoc on me again, but I ignored it all and got busy in church work and my new life. I was still trying to fit in and be special.
After a few years the church we were very involved in, closed down. After that time, a few of our friends saw a church in Atlanta on television that looked really interesting. It had all the ministries that we were looking for and a school for our daughter. So even though it was on the other side of the country, we sold everything and we moved there with a few of our close friends.
We got jobs, homes and started trying to make a life. There were many great things about this church, but something didn’t feel quite right. I just told myself to ignore those feelings, since things seemed so right.
My emotional and mental issues seemed to be escalating there. I felt more insecure than ever and it seemed that I spent a lot of time just trying to fit in worse than ever before. I needed to fit in and be special, like always. My husband was very jealous of me, and since I was always trying to fit in and be special this caused many marital problems.
After six years of living in Atlanta and almost twenty years of marriage he told me he was divorcing me. I was very shocked at the time. I realized later that I should have seen it coming. I moved my daughter and myself into one of the church community basement apartments to try and start a new life.
I got a job at a good company and things seemed to be going okay, but I hadn’t dealt with any of my hurts or losses. I was still stuffing everything down and running from my inner problems. I was on my own for the first time in my life, and I was busy looking for a new husband. All the while I was growing more and more insecure. I went from being totally involved in church life to hardly ever going at all.
Then the news hit about a big scandal at the church. It was a very big church that had a television ministry, so because of its prominence it rocked the entire church world. It seemed that all the men in my life that I trusted had gone crazy. First my husband and then a lot of my pastors.
I left and moved into an apartment in another city in the Atlanta area, and for the first time in my life I was really on my own. It seemed exciting at the time, but very quickly things turned on me. I went looking for love in all the wrong places and got into a really bad relationship and totally fell apart emotionally. After being divorced for a year my dad brought me back to Las Vegas to live close to my family again.
Once back in Las Vegas anxiety seemed to escalate even worse.
Unless I had a 12-step meeting to go to that day I would be afraid to get out of bed. It didn’t matter what kind. If it was a 12 step group I would go! It helped me to have somewhere I had to go. I still had not dealt with any of my emotional baggage and mental issues. I didn’t really know how or what to do. Anything I tried didn’t seem to help me. If I went to church I would cry so much I was told I needed to see a counselor.
For six years I went in and out of recovery groups, churches, bad relationships and therapy, I found myself at a place where nothing I had tried was helping me. I was barely making it through work, and the rest of my time I was trying to spend alone, thinking that was the only way I could make myself better for God.
I was living in fear and torment, afraid to tell anyone how bad things really were. I couldn’t understand why I was getting worse instead of better. It seemed that the more recovery books I read, the more information I had to beat myself up with.
My life and problems seemed hopeless. I tried to get help from people in the church, but no one really understood how to help me.
I drove to California twice to big name healing people to get help and that did not help me. Therapists didn’t understand me either. It seemed that my problems were bigger than anyone else could deal with. The people I went to for help ended up giving up on me. What could be wrong with me that nothing could help me! I felt hopeless!
Then an old friend came back into my life. We had started out in recovery together going to groups, but she stayed in them instead of jumping around like me. Maybe it was just timing but she gave me some tools that I didn’t remember ever hearing before.
She said to, “Stay out of My Head, Feel My Feelings, Stay in the Present Moment, Quit Trying to Control Outcomes and Quit Asking Why.”
I always knew I had problems, but up to this point I didn’t know most of my problems came from obsessive thinking. I didn’t even know what obsessive thinking was. I just needed to be still and stay in the moment with God and go through the feelings with Him and let Him make me better. Let go and let Him be in control!
Amazingly enough, at this time in my life, when all I wanted to do was stay away from everyone, I met my current husband in a recovery group. He had been through plenty of his own share of horrible losses, a lot like me but also very different.
I did my best to stay away from him, but it didn’t work. It looked like another disaster was about to happen, but what I didn’t know was that this relationship was going to get me into some healing, and past my lifelong patterns of self-destruction.
I now was learning tools to help me and a relationship to practice them with. It didn’t make sense to me but my process began. I was done trying to do it my way. I needed to stay still and go through it with God. I was now married and committed to a man who had his own problems to deal with, so he was not available to me in the ways I thought I needed.
This left me in a place of being totally dependent on God in a way I had not known before. I had no place to run, I just had to stay still in the process.
Soon after we married, I went to a Christian therapist who told me about a book written by Dr. David Burns, “The Feeling Good Handbook.” It had a list of distorted thoughts and it described what they were. I realized my head was full of them. How could my thoughts be so distorted! I knew I had problems, but could all of my thinking be distorted?
In Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, “Changes That Heal,” I learned I had some really distorted ideas about God and others, as well as myself. At the end of each chapter he shares a lot of the distortions that Christians can have. I didn’t realize I could have distorted thoughts and beliefs about God also. I was ready to heal and I knew it was time to quit trusting my own head. I was going to let God put me back together again His way.
It started with not trusting anything going on in my own head at all! It seemed very scary, but I just put myself in His hands and kept my mind on Him. Staying one second at a time in the moment with Him. I learned that I had to feel to heal.
In the past when I thought I was feeling, I realized I was really thinking about my feelings and not feeling them. I learned that I couldn’t think and feel at the same time. Thoughts create feelings and avoiding feelings creates obsession thoughts and fears.
When I’m thinking I can’t feel, so I can’t heal.
I had to acknowledge my feelings and not make myself be bad for having them. Feelings are not bad they are just feelings. I learned to be comfortable with uncomfortable feelings, and instead of trying to escape them by thinking, or doing some other obsessive behavior, I just stayed in the moment with the feeling.
Amazingly I started to heal for the first time in my life. My thinking had caused so much torment in my life, so I learned to stay out of my head and feel my feelings.
Also I learned to stay in the moment, and through this process the most miraculous thing occurred, I FOUND GOD INSIDE OF ME! He became real to me in a way I didn’t know possible. I could feel His presence inside of me like never before.
He was really inside. I could feel Him there. So I no longer had to try to be or do something to be accepted by Him, or anyone.
I just had to rest knowing He was with me. He was in me, and no matter what, me and Jesus could handle it together one second at a time! He was inside of me and He wasn’t going anywhere. I could always be with Him there inside of me any time I wanted, no matter where I was. All I had to do was turn my attention to Him. He is with me no matter what.
I am still on a healing journey doing it in His time and His way. I never have to feel alone again! He is the lover of my soul, and I need no one else to make me special. I just need to turn my attention to Him inside of me because He is all I need!
The thing that was holding me back before was what I did with thoughts in my head.
The impossible became possible by learning to get out of my head, live in the moment with Jesus and by turning my attention to Him who lives inside of me. By doing this I always get to live in His presence no matter where I am or what I am doing.