“God has used this messy health situation to help me focus on areas I have neglected.
Mainly ME. I know that sounds selfish, but it’s true. I learned that in order to be healthy; physically, spiritually, and mentally, I needed to be a little selfish and work on me.”
You may recognize the above quote from “Excerpts From and Introvert’s Journal – Part 1”. I’ve talked about how my health affected my relationship with God, my relationship with my kids, and husband, but I haven’t mentioned how my health affected my relationship with myself. Which, it just so happens, is also a pretty important relationship.
. . .
Excerpt from Journal 8/29/19
“…lately with everything going, it’s tempting to give up. To run away until all is well. I’m sick of strained relationships. I’m sick of being sick and the seemingly endless appointments. “
. . .
Excerpt from Journal 9/15/19
“With all my health issues over the years, and especially since March, I have really come to dislike my body…and myself.
Not being able to enjoy food, to live life to its fullest, because I feel awful and exhausted all the time, is frustrating. And as things get worse, I wonder why I am so faulty.”
. . .
Faulty. Inadequate. Those are lies that I’ve struggled to silence my entire life. I’ve always felt like something fundamental is missing in my makeup. Being sick and having to be so dependent on others, just increased the lies, and I will admit I have believed them too often these past several months.
I have two main jobs that have made up the last nineteen years of my life. Wife and mom. And as all those relationships were hanging on by a thread, I felt like a failure.
My daddy, use to jokingly say as he snuggled me in his arms, “Kal, do you think you’ll ever amount to anything?” He said it in a sweet, teasing way, and honestly, I never really thought about those words since those days snuggled in his arms. But as I grew weaker, so weak that I had to depend on my husband and kids to sometimes walk me from point A to point B and all I wanted to do was sleep, those words my daddy never meant to be anything but playful banter between himself and his adoring daughter, suddenly popped back into my memory. And as I heard that question, “Do you think you’ll ever amount to anything?” all I could think was, “No. No, I will never amount to anything, because for some reason I can’t do anything.”
Thankfully, this spring God started bringing into a new light something I’d been interested in since my sister showed me it a few years ago. The Enneagram. When my sister first talked about Enneagram and had me take the test I came back as a six. The Loyalist. And its description made sense to me and I never questioned if that was really my number type or not. So, I had spent the years since then believing I was a six and studying all things Enneagram six.
Until this spring. As I was struggling in my relationships with myself and others and wanting to grow, I realized six didn’t make sense for me. So, I bought a LOT of Enneagram books and began to study and dig deep into myself and all the Enneagram types. I identified with most of the numbers, and I tried hard to work on growing towards the health in every number I identified with. And every time I was in a place of pain and struggle I paid attention to what my heart struggle was and most of the time it boiled down to the words mentioned above. Faulty. Inadequate. Feeling as though something fundamental was missing from my makeup.
It’s of no importance to this post as to what Enneagram number I am. Though, we’ll talk more about Enneagram in 2020.
What does matter is that God used Enneagram to remind me that I am not faulty or inadequate. That there is no important part missing from the Kalli puzzle. He made me complete and full. And He loves me completely and fully.
And for every unhealthy, down in the dumps, self-doubting day that I had, there were even more days where He encouraged me through His word. With verses like I mentioned in “Excerpts from an Introvert’s Journal – Part 2”
. . .
““It’s okay to be weak. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s a good thing. Because…
“My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9”
. . .
And many more in between. Here are just a few of those sweet reminders from my Heavenly Father…
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Excerpt from Journal 5/3/19
“I heard you whisper, “Choose life.”
… Choosing life is hard at times. Really, really hard…but it’s not out of reach. Life is right here with us in our hearts…Jesus is within us and as we continue to choose life, and let life dwell in our hearts, it will grow and take over.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
. . .
Excerpt from Journal 6/27/19
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
God, thank you, that I can trust you with everything that is going on.”
. . .
Most importantly he reminded me of what Jesus says is the second most important commandment alongside loving God. It’s to love your neighbor as yourself. Love your neighbor as yourself. But I didn’t really love myself. And this journal entry was my big turning point…
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Excerpt from “100 Days to Brave” Journal
“How do you think you can love others if you don’t love yourself?”
I really struggle with loving myself. Even at the age of 37, I feel so unimportant, insignificant, unvalued and useless…
“Loving someone requires belief in that person.”
I have never thought of love this way but it’s true. Loving God requires belief in God…
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…
What if believing in myself, will save me from myself? Saves my soul from the hurt and pain that comes from self-doubt and believing the lies of Satan?
God, help me to love myself with your love, so that I can love others well.”
. . .
Since that day, I have started to write down things I love, about myself, my life, what God has created in me and for me. It has really helped me to silence the lies of Satan that cause me to doubt all the goodness God created along with me.
I’m not going to lie; I still struggle with doubt. I’m human and always will. But I believe that the more I choose life giving statements about who God created me, Kalli Schroeder, to be, then life is what will grow in my heart. And instead of Satan’s lies choking the life out of me, it will be the lifegiving truth of Jesus that chokes out the lies of Satan.
Can I get an AMEN to that?!
This year has been hard, but God has never left my side. Never dropped my hand. He’s held me. Comforted me. Sustained me. And he’s spoken life into all the sickness, hurt, pain, and brokenness that has come my way.
Every test that we were afraid would be bad, has come back good. I don’t have cancer or any other life-threatening disease. Sure I’m not as healthy as I’d like to be and I’m going to be struggling with some lifelong diseases and disorders but I’ll continue to hold on to hope that Christ will heal those, and if He chooses not to, then I’ll trust Him in that too.
I’ve learned to work with my sickness and rest. Yes, it’s true that I take at least two naps a day, but if that’s what I need to do to function and uphold my relationships then that’s what I need to do. Plus, I kind of love naps so I need to learn to be grateful for them, even when they are forced upon me.
And the strained relationships, well, I now understand why God gave me the words “Choose Relationship” for 2019. I now know why He had me digging deep into and writing about relationship this year. It’s because I would need those reminders myself, to carry me through these hard months. And as I listen to His comforting words and allow Him to carry myself and my family through this season, I’m seeing restoration and growth between my kids and me, as well as my husband and me.
So, even though sickness and brokenness are not God’s will…
NOTE: I’d like to make my readers aware that this will be my final blog post for “Excerpts from an Introvert’s Journal” until after Christmas. I’ll still be blogging weekly but, I will be focusing on the Christmas and Advent season and I invite you along as we start celebrating the life of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
In addition to this, and in case you aren’t already aware, I’d like to invite you to join myself and others in the online Advent Bible study on Facebook. We’ll be studying from the “Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope” study from She Reads Truth. You do not have to have the book to join us, just the desire to learn more about Advent and Jesus coming. Just go to Life Exquisite’s Facebook page, find the Advent group invite (I’ll try to keep it bumped to the top of our feed), and like AND comment on the invite post that you’d like to be invited to the Advent Bible study group.