I can’t believe we’ve reached the last of our real-life Wildflowers from Winter guest posts. I hope the stories of these women have uplifted and encouraged you.
This last guest post is from Teri Metts and is every bit as beautiful as the others. I trust God will use her words to set many hearts free today.
A Ministry is Born
Can someone who walks in close fellowship with God battle debilitating insecurities? Is it possible to say, “I trust God,” and yet still suffer with depression? Not only is it possible, I know from experience depression and debilitating insecurities plague many who genuinely love the Lord.
Although my Christian mother raised me in church, our home life was unpredictable. My alcoholic father’s drinking and chronic unfaithfulness often drove my mother to bouts of depression and emotional outbursts. As a result she depended upon me for emotional support long before I was mature enough to handle her needs. It wasn’t uncommon for her to fly into a rage and then not speak to me for days as punishment for something often beyond my control, which ultimately produced within me a deep-rooted fear of rejection.
By the time I reached my teens, I’d begun experiencing panic attacks fueled by waves of insecurity in my closest relationships. In an attempt to protect myself from the rejection I feared might come, I spent years shutting down emotionally. I hid behind a mask of false security and self-confidence, allowing others only so far into my world. In my mid-thirties, I learned burying one’s emotions eventually results in a volcanic-type eruption called depression. For a season I battled this demon in silence, still fearful of experiencing rejection should others discover my weakness. Always at the back of my mind were these troubling questions: How could a respected minister’s wife, missionary, and Bible study teacher admit she struggled with depression and overwhelming waves of insecurity? Wouldn’t that be a poor reflection on the love I had for God and the faith I claimed to place in Him?
By the spring of 1999 I could no longer hide the depth of my emotional unhealthiness, and my worst nightmare became a reality. Dreading the questions, or worse yet, the silent accusations, I wanted to go into hiding. I was convinced no one would ever again seek me out as a friend, teacher or spiritual mentor. They would label me a fraud. I felt as if my total sense of value and self-worth had been jerked out for underneath me. But God knew my exposure would ultimately be the catalyst He would use to set me free.
Once I was at the bottom of the pit, God reached down and picked me up. That summer (’99) He began a restoration process in my life as I facilitated a support group for women who also needed to face the demons their pasts had created. After the first group finished, two more began, with a waiting list for future groups. I was blown away. Admitting to my own battles had not pushed others away; instead, my admission became a magnet drawing them to me and giving them the courage to share with others their own struggles.
The following spring I started a ministry for women called Hem Touchers. Over the course of that year, God led me to write two Bible studies – Touching Jesus & Embracing Christ – to use with ministry participants (women who, like me, needed to trust Him to heal their hurts). Twelve years later these studies are still being used by God to help others find healing from past and present life hurts.
I’m offering a set of these Bible studies to one person commenting on today’s post. If you would like to be entered in the drawing, be sure and leave your e-mail address.
This hymn was one of Teri’s favorites as God lifted her from her depression.
More recently, Teri has entered the field of Christian fiction. Her first novel, Caribbean Paradise (set in the Dominican Republic), was published in 2010, followed by Pearl of the Caribbean (set in Haiti), in 2011. She is presently at work on the third and final Island Legacy Novel, Caribbean Freedom (set in Cuba), which releases in February 2013.
Teri lives with her husband Joe and their two dogs, Buddy & Shug, in Mississippi. They have three grown children (two married, one single) and four grandchildren. In 2006, Teri and Joe bought their dream home, a 1910 bungalow. Be sure and check out Teri’s Christian-based blog and website at www.bungalowretreat.com, where she depicts country-living, bungalow-style, through words and pictures.
Let’s Talk: Have you ever been afraid to share real parts of yourself for fear of how others will respond? Do you know Teri? Say hi. Introduce yourself. She’s an inspiring woman!
Do you have a story you can share? Don’t miss out on the Wildflowers from Winter blog hop on May 4th! I cannot wait to read your testimonies.
Don’t forget to send me the link (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I can include it in my blog post next Friday. All who participate will be entered to win a $50 gift card to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Christianbook.com (winner’s choice).
Please help spread the word. How cool would it be to flood the internet with stories of hope and healing?