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Teresa Collingwood

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When I was a little girl, I was a big dreamer. As a child I would dream about fictitious things that never happened, but nonetheless, I kept dreaming. I had a full, childlike wonder in which I BELIEVED I could literally move mountains. I think that made God giggle.

All that dreaming lasted until my adult life. Since my teens, I felt God calling me to write. Instead of going into journalism like I had wanted, I went into teaching because it seemed more practical. I could have summers off and be on the same schedule as the kids I hadn’t had yet, with the husband I hadn’t met yet. At that point, I started my spiral of pleasing others before myself which ultimately began my path to self-destruction.

Instead of calling off a wedding that I knew in my heart was destined to fail, I went through with it. I married a man because I didn’t want to waste the money my parents had spent on the wedding. I married him because I didn’t want to disappoint everyone that had already received their invitations. Despite my gut feeling, I persisted and found myself in an unpleasant life.

“Instead of calling off a wedding that I knew in my heart was destined to fail, I went through with it.”

I’ve always been a person that forgets where I put my keys. One day I couldn’t find my keys as I was heading out for work, and my husband at the time told me that I was, “a real piece of work!” He had my keys in his hand and there was about two feet of snow in our yard. He threw them out in the snow to have me find them. Now, I’m not claiming to be the perfect person, but I knew that stepping into that marriage was not where I would flourish as a woman after God’s heart. I made the mistake of following through with a marriage that I knew God had already written a “no” on. After a year of being depressed, heartbroken and betrayed, I got the courage to at least step out of that path of a lifetime of pain. Thank the good Lord for an amazing supportive family and a handful of good friends who pulled me through the shame and heartache of that time.

My desire to please everyone was not working in my favor. I had this insane misconception that if I made everyone else happy, I would be too. Not true! Do you see how Satan was working even then? He made me work myself into a frazzle pleasing everyone else while my whole world fell apart.

Thank goodness the good Lord had his hand on a man that gave me space to heal. He built my confidence by letting me experience things and affirming how amazing I was. I slowly started to believe him. We were so happy just living out our country dream. We bought a place, had some horses and loved just eating popcorn or going to the convenient store together. I thank God for this man who allows me to just be me and encourages every dream I ever dream up.

As we began our life, we were blessed with two children of our own and I got to be a bonus mom to his son. Nevertheless, I found myself falling back into bad habits of trying to please others! I did everything for this amazing husband of mine. I went to his rodeos, I cleaned, cooked and did everything a “good wife” was supposed to do. I even lived in his hometown which was a lifetime away from my support system. For years I lived the life we wanted, until I realized I had just made his dreams mine and completely lost sight of my own. At this point, I began to isolate myself from everyone. I closed the blinds in our house as I raised our small babies. I napped and napped and napped. I let dishes pile and let myself fall into a deep depression. I let my husband’s family speak harsh words into my heart, and I started to believe them. I didn’t realize at the time that God was using my rivals to refine me into who He wanted me to be. They are good people, but I was the circle they tried to fit into their square box.

“My dear friends, Satan literally had me feeling stone-cold dead. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. But God said, “RISE UP! You are my daughter.”

All this time, which was a timeframe of about nine years, I kept hearing God say, “write.” I disobeyed. I wrote in my journal but never wrote so others could benefit from what I was going through. Then it happened; it was my split rock moment. I woke up with numbness all down my right side and with excruciating headaches plaguing me. I had so much brain fog that I couldn’t even articulate words like I had before. I became crippled with fear about what was happening to my body. I had MRIs and CAT scans, all of which came back clear. I was still having crazy symptoms. At one point, I was told it may be an autoimmune disease, and the thought of that crippled me further. All I could think about was losing all that I was. It literally crippled me with fear. I started to believe I was incapable. I wasn’t smart. I had nothing to offer. I literally felt I was going to lose everything; my mind, my legs and my ability to speak.

You see, God had to use a split rock moment for me to stop living to please others and step into my purpose. I started eating with Paleo principles and found an amazing ancient herb and Chinese medicine that truly has healed me! We have made a move to live closer to my family so we can balance some of my dreams with my husband’s dreams. God truly is healer of all things!

Everyone has thorns or rivals that God uses to help them step into their purpose. Right now I want you to think about those insanely wild dreams you dreamt as a child… That girl we were as children wants you and me back! She wants you to pursue that God given dream to become ALL we were created to be.

My dear friends, Satan literally had me feeling stone-cold dead. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. But God said, “RISE UP! You are my daughter. I am Healer and I have made your feet like that of a deer.” I started listening to the words God has to say about me rather than what I had to say about myself. I spoke words to myself and said, “you are healed. You were created with purpose. You are beautifully and wonderfully made.” And day by day God healed my mind, body and spirit! Praise Him!

Whether you’re in a fear cycle, battling depression, people pleasing or in a split-rock moment right now, God has more to say about all of it. Let Him speak truth into your mind and heart so you can stop believing the lies either you or someone else is speaking. Take notice of the words you speak to yourself. If those words aren’t good, true, noble or lovely, just reply with “delete, delete, delete” and replace it with a God truth!

God wants to wash us clean of our fear, depression, anxiety, and split-rock moments. He wants to make all things new. We just have to open our hearts and minds and let Him wash us clean.

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