[by Barb Smith] For the past two years, I have been on a journey seeking answers for my damaged emotions which, I believe, also affected my physical well-being. I realize now, my greatest struggles have come from my fear of rejection stemming from insecurities about myself, my appearance and my relationships. I couldn’t say “no” to anything or anyone because I was trying to please people. I spiritualized my actions thinking I was denying myself and making sacrifices. It felt biblical.
[by Barb Smith] I hadn’t been feeling well, still, I was determined to have a nice supper for our family gathering. I had rested in bed most of the day and managed to prepare a couple of dishes in the evening thinking I would finish the rest of my preparations the next day. Morning came and my strength continued to wane. Then it began, the barrage of self-degrading thoughts:
[by Barb Smith] About a year ago, I came to a new understanding of the biblical term “dying to yourself.” It seemed every time I said “no” to a request for help or an outing, I felt guilty if I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my time and deny myself for the sake of someone else. Often, I over commit and say “yes” even when my body is screaming “don’t do it!” The reason I say “yes” is because I feel so guilty when I say “no.” This is an ongoing struggle and I am in a constant process of finding a balance that is right, not out of selfishness, but out of the need to function as an emotionally healthy woman. I realized my sense of worth was determined by what I did for others. The verse “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,” as I understood it, meant I must die to everything, all the time, as a spiritual sacrifice to God.