Set Up For Failure?

The question mark behind this title is new. I used to believe this as a statement but now, it is more of a question. If you haven’t been following my blog lately then welcome to my Pity Party (Table for 1). Actually, many have visited my party, for which I am grateful. However, everything must come to an end at some point and I hope (there’s that word again) it’s time. 

First, I must address the title. Was I set up for failure? It sure feels that way. Hell, even written on paper my story plays like a sad Tyler Perry Movie. Here is the thing, when you start experiencing abuse at the age of 3, and then continue with several types of abuse and neglect and rejection throughout your life, you are left with Borderline Personality Disorder. This disorder has plagued me as much as the trauma that caused it. This means the development of my brain and how it and how I act and react when I think about or perceive others is skewed. 

So then there is the next dilemma. How does mental illness fit into Christianity? I have a hard time understanding what God expects from someone like that, like me. Had I been protected, at some point, maybe I wouldn’t be such a mess. But I wasn’t. The brain develops until age 26. At some point, the abuser stopped being outsiders and I took over that role. What point did that transition happen? When was I supposed to know right from wrong when all I ever knew was wrong?

When I was in ministry, I really believed I was healed. I still struggled with seeing everything through a very black or white lense (a borderline trait) but I was trying really hard to be open to gray areas. I think about my healing as a stained glass window. You know, someone took pieces of broken glass and forged them together to create something new. Everyone was in awe, including myself but the problem is I wasn’t really new at all. I was still broken and being held together by many things. How do I know that? Well because here I am again, broken into a million pieces. Maybe I was healed and then broken again but I don’t even know if that part really matters. I am sure these are pieces that Jesus could put together again but to what end? This cycle is exhausting. 

However, there is something very powerful behind everything I just wrote, and that is perspective. In this perspective, my brain is choosing to overlook the good because I feel so bad. For instance, I have a mother who loves God and loves me and I never doubted that. She wasn’t perfect but who was the perfect parent? Also, when I chose a prayer partner to walk through everyday life with, she just happened to be a licensed therapist. My friend, who is now my sister, helped me “find the gray areas” almost everyday for many years. Actually, through all the years when I thought “I had been healed”. I severed that relationship when I was at my lowest point. Not a great decision in hindsight. Lost friendships have recently been restored and the copay for my depression treatments was completely waived. 

You see I know God is reaching out to me right now but I am stuck in total spiritual warfare. I want to reach back, just like this poem I wrote over 20 years ago…..

You’re reaching out, how long I long to reach back.

This pain I feel is overwhelming and the strength I lack

If I could turn back time to the moment I fell

Or had that battle with temptation, that didn’t go so well

Maybe I’d do things differently, I’d like to say

But in reality, things would have gone the same way.

My flesh is sinful, My faith is weak.

I’m trapped in the dark, though it’s light that I seek…

Although sometimes the light

Feels too overwhelming, too bright.

My eyes can’t adjust so I’ll stay where it’s dim

And the light would bring out all my flaws and my sin.

Whom am I fighting? From where is this guilt?

My Father’s reaching out to me but there’s a wall that I’ve built.

It’s made up of sin and deceit and of lies.

“Father, please help me”, I screamed and I cried.

“I’m right here, my child. Those words I’ve longed to hear.

I reached out my hand the moment you fell

But the hand that you chose came straight out of hell.

I knew he would hurt you. I knew you would cry

I knew you’d get lost and then run and hide.

But my hand stayed extended, waiting for yours.

I kept on the porch light, at Heaven’s doors.

And now, my dear child, I welcome you back home.

For I’ll always love you, no matter how much you roam.”


  1. Beautiful poem Becky. I especially love the part you put in bold. Praying you find a foothold.

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