Fighting the Negative Inner Voices with Hope Darst
As followers of Christ, it can be pretty easy to cling to a lie that if we follow Jesus all of our problems go away. No more fear. No more insecurity or anger. But soon we realize that it’s not true. Hope Darst talks about how she found this to be the case in her own life and how anger and fear became so crippling that these emotions almost landed her in the hospital.
The gift of salvation comes when we accept Jesus as Lord. We are saved. But until you release control of your own life and say “Lord you are in charge of my life,” you may never experience the true freedom that Jesus can bring.
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I just remember feeling like the Lord just whispered into my heart, “Hope you’re saved. You love me. You are completely committed to me, but you are not free. And I didn’t come just to save you. I came to set you free.”Hope Darst
Hope Darst wrestling with being saved by God but not yet finding freedom.
I wish I could say the lowest points in my life was one time, but it hasn’t been just one time. It’s been several times that I found myself in a real dark pit, emotionally and mentally. And I think the first really significant time was in my thirties. I just had my second baby, my parents had just gone through a brutally painful divorce. I’d been on staff at a church for 10 years, serving the Lord at that point for a good 12 years, faithfully.
I was going to church, I was tithing, I was loving my neighbor, I was serving, I was a faithful wife, still a faithful wife. I was doing all the things that you’re supposed to do, keeping all the roles.
And I was doing all the things that you were supposed to do.
And yet internally I was just riddled with so much anger, insecurity, fear, hopelessness and feeling unworthy and feeling like I was never going to actually be better. If that makes any sense? I just so desperately wanted to be better.
And it’s funny, you don’t plan your breakdown. You don’t prepare for it.
You don’t mark it on the calendar. “This is the day that I’m going to fall apart. This is the day that God’s going to meet me.” It just happens and you never know what’s going to trigger it.
And for me, it was such a simple trigger. It wasn’t even anything remarkable. It was just disappointing a friend. And suddenly it was like it was the final straw that just broke the camel’s back. And I unraveled, and I remember I went into such a dark place, I didn’t get out of my bed for three days. I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat. I wasn’t taking care of my kids.
My husband was so worried and I remember him coming in and he just said, “Hope, I think we have to check you into a hospital.” He was, “I don’t know how to help you. I don’t think you know how to help yourself.”
When you can’t stuff and ignore any longer.
And I remember laying in my bed and thinking, “What has got me here? How does just such a simple moment lead to such devastating results?” And wanting to just rewind, just go to three days before and start over and figure out how to not get to that place.
But the thing is I didn’t get there in three days. I had gotten there over 30 plus years of just stuffing and ignoring and not believing that God actually could be my healer and bring freedom.
And I’ll never forget, it was just honestly, the grace of God. I got out of the bed and I laid on my carpet floor and I don’t think I wept but I was just silent. I just laid on that carpet and I thought, “I’m not going to move here until God speaks to me.” And that was the moment when God said, “You’re saved, but you’re not free. And if you’ll let me into this journey, I’m going to walk out a path of freedom for you.”
Walking onto a path of freedom
The hardest and the scariest place to be is on the floor at Jesus’ feet.
I found freedom and healing here.
It’s the only place that I found redemption. I think that there is nothing greater than the moment when you realized you just cannot heal yourself. And that you don’t have to figure it out by yourself.
And that you can reach out to God and people and say, “I don’t know how to fix this.” We don’t leave enough room for people to just say, “I need help. I don’t know how to hurdle this. I don’t know how to get over this mountain?” And not shaming them with a sense of, “You don’t have enough faith. You haven’t prayed enough prayers. You haven’t done enough freedom weekends or enough Bible studies or insert blank.”
And I just want to speak to that person right now.
God doesn’t need you to do anything else to get better, except just get at His feet and ask Him to do the thing that He and only He can do. Which is bring healing, and hope, and peace, and restoration to the deepest, most broken parts of your heart and your soul, because I have experienced Him do that in my life.