|Very insecure 13 year old Nikka- Santacruzan 1989|
I start this blog post with a long journal entry. I love writing, as you can very well see. ;) My way of coping with my hardest battles with self was through writing in my journals.
I wrote this when I was just 19 years old. Bear with the length of the journal entry:
"I am terribly lonely, I can't name any incident when I felt really happy and
contented. Perhaps it's because I am just depressed now. I don't understand this hollow, gnawing emptiness I'm feeling inside. I feel so hopeless, so desperate. I feel as though no one can understand me and no one will ever understand me. Every night, I sleep wishing that the next day would offer me something new, a new attitude, a new "me" perhaps. Anything just to remove this ugly feeling of nothingness I am feeling.
14 years old and feeling empty - 1990
Why are others normal? I used
to think I was normal, but perhaps I really am not after all. I can't seem to take a hold of reality. I seem to be living my life each day but am not really living in the true sense of the word. I feel as if I am floating, as if I am nothing, as if I am trapped within this cage I've made for myself. The sad thing is I can't get out anymore. I feel as though this is going to be my state of life forever.
With my sister Erica before my Santacruzan - 1989
I'm scared. I feel as though I am out of my wits. What if this never changes? Will I forever be unhappy? Will I never find love? Worst still, will I never find myself? I seem to be living a lie. I am creating masks just so that I'll be able to cope with life, but when I'm at home, either with family or alone, I again feel this gnawing, ugly feeling of emptiness, of deep sorrow and hopelessness.
High School Graduation with my family and grandmother - March 1992
I was very active with church activities my whole college life.- 1994
I've always been religious, but it seems that I'm using GOD to cover up for my insecurity. I don't want to admit it but I've perhaps become the religious person that I am known for being because of the emptiness I have been feeling for so long. I have not found myself yet. I don't even like myself. It's so torturous living each day not liking myself. I feel trapped by my enemy, the only difference is that I can never escape from this person, for the enemy and I are but one.
I can't recall when this insecurity started, but I do know that since I was a kid, perhaps even at age 5, I was already jealous of everyone who possessed good looks. I remember hating pretty child stars, pretty classmates, pretty friends, etc. I cursed them in my mind. At age 11 when I was my fattest self, I hated my classmates for teasing me. I went on a starvation diet and soon, reached my ideal weight of 85lbs. I have been conscious of the way I looked from then on. I honestly think that(Note: The summer of Grade 6, I developed borderline anorexia. Read about this decade-long battle here.)
before the 6th grade, I was still quite normal. I hated myself then, but not as much as I hate myself now.
Grade 5, chubby but not as troubled - age 12
Before when I was in second year high school, I hated Mama for looking so pretty and young. I hated Eca (my sister) for being thin. I hated everyone whom I felt was pretty. I won the Lakambini contest (a high school beauty contest) but I never really thought much of it. I still think that up to now, I won because of my talent and intelligence, and not much of my looks.
Honestly, I don't really understand why I put beauty in such a high pedestal. It has been a No.1 desire of mine for years. Whenever I would find out this friend of mine is being courted by so and so, I would get into a fit of depression. I hate myself because I cannot attract men. If and when I do, I still have this inner desire to attract more. What's wrong with me?! I am obsessed.
|College Graduation - 1996|
I hate myself so much. I feel so hopeless and restless. I am more than anything else, afraid. Afraid about this situation that has been going on for years and years and years. I feel like killing myself but am sane enough to know that that is the coward's way out. I don't want to die. I want to learn how to live...
With my dear college friends - 1995
I need help. I need help. I need help. Otherwise, I'll never be happy. There are just so many beautiful people around, so many beautiful people to hate. I don't want to be hateful. I just want to be happy and contented with my blessings... but I've made envy a part of my system.
I really feel kinda psychotic lately. Is it possible for someone to be this depressed most of the time? I said most of the time because there are those very few instances when I'm quite all right, very much okay and smiling. But there are also those times and they are plenty, mind you, when I feel very much like sh*t, nothing and nobody.
There were times when I'd be kenkoy (quirky) such as this time! - 1996
Do you actually come into this world in that state or do you create your own personality, moods and all? I am led to believe that I am born this way, with this temperament. How can I want to be lonely all the time? No one wills that. Everyone wants to be happy. But, it's doubly hard to be such when everyday, all I see is me in this face, in this body, in this sorry state.
With my Catholic group - 1995
I know I shouldn't feel this way, but there's a whole lot of difference between knowing and actually feeling or doing. I feel hopeless. I really do."
That was heavy stuff coming from my 19 year-old self. :(
Let's define terms first.
What is BONDAGE?
According to the dictionary, BONDAGE is the "state of being a slave."
What then is SPIRITUAL BONDAGE?
Spiritual Bondage, according to Freedom Now Ministries, is "any area of our lives where we come into agreement with a lie from the enemy that is in direct opposition to God’s Word. In those areas, it gives the demonic legal access, and it’s like an open invitation for them to come and torment us."
Before I became possessed by an actual demon in 2003, the devil was already tormenting me daily as a child and as a teenager, to the point that I wanted to commit suicide often. It was only my faith in God that made me refuse to do it. I did not want to go to hell. :(
But I was in deep spiritual bondage for many, many years. It just sort of had some alterations here and there as I was growing up, but the over-all feeling of being "encaged" was there. I felt enslaved by depression.
As we've read in my journal, I was OBSESSED with BEAUTY. The devil used this to his advantage by oppressing me daily.
|Battling my eating disorder - 2007|
How can I, who gave up my life to Jesus at the young age of 9, be in spiritual bondage? Can a Christian live in spiritual bondage?
According to Freedom Now Ministries, YES definitely (!), a Christian can live in spiritual bondage:
Not all bondage is about possession, but sometimes it is a matter of oppression. Which means you can be saved and have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, and still open up areas of your life to demonic influence. The only one who has never had any form of spiritual bondage, is also the only one who has never sinned – Jesus Christ. The Bible says that Jesus spoke this about Himself in...:
“I will no longer talk much with you, is coming (Satan) .”
There was no sin in Jesus, therefore there was nothing for Satan to tempt Him with, no foothold or opening for him to rule over Him.
...The devil cannot override our free will. When a demon has control, they’ve been given control. Most people don’t give Satan control on purpose. Believing lies (which is agreeing with Satan, the liar) gives him power over us. Choosing to sin gives him power over us. Giving in to fear gives him power over us. What is spiritual bondage? Giving Satan control and living under that control.
When people ask me whether a Christian can be demon-possessed, what they’re usually asking is, “Can a Christian be indwelled by an evil spirit?” or, “Can an evil spirit possess (have ownership of) a Christian?” Those are very different questions.
Is it possible to give the devil power over us to the point where his thoughts are woven into our own, to the point where he is able to “set up shop” in our hearts and exercise a form of rule there? Yes. Just ask Annanias and Sapphira in the book of Acts. Their hearts were “filled” with Satan just as Peter’s was “filled with the Spirit.”
Can a Christian be owned by the devil? Eternally, ultimately, legally, no. But practically, functionally, in a “who’s calling the shots” way, yes. A Christian can definitely be trapped in spiritual bondage.
|I am the one in pink with my extended family in an outing - 1993|
For most of my life, though I professed to be a Christian (and a good one at that!), I was not really allowing Christ to "call the shots" in my life. It was either I (selfish flesh) or the devil (I believed in his lies) who "called the shots".
I was trapped in spiritual bondage.
What is clearly unbelievable is the fact that one can go through life being bound and chained to this world and not know what is happening. One might even believe that it is just oneself saying all those negative things again and again to one's mind. The devil's voice sounds very much like our own, after all.
At my worst moments while I still was borderline anorexic, these words played again and again in my head as though a broken record:
|I was a fat kid. - 1987|
When you don't know your enemy, you have no way of fighting it.
( Note: I was/am a devout Catholic but it was only in 2003, when I got possessed by the devil himself, did I believe in his existence. I believed in evil, but not in the devil as an entity. He hid himself from me. That is the greatest lie right now of the evil one: that he does not exist. That way, he can ensnare us without us ever knowing what hit us.)
At my worst moments while I was still obsessed with beauty and was envious most of the time of perceived beautiful girls, these words played again and again in my head as though a broken record:
|At a cousin's wedding - 1992|
I was always envious. :(
I felt worthless. :(
It always ended up with me wanting to die. :(
That also made me dress myself in revealing clothes. I needed the validation from men to tell me that I was worthy of admiration, no matter that their words were just lewd and harassing! I lapped them up like a ravaged dog.
How did I free myself from the bondage that was beauty?
2 Corinthians 10:2-5
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
|Baby Nikka with my parents- 1973|
|Tired and harrassed-looking but happy! - Apr 17, 2013|
1 Timothy 2
13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
The Lord was talking to my heart.
I was little by little, without me knowing it, becoming free from the devil's strongholds.
At first it was just the desire to stop feeling afraid all the time.
Then, it was the desire to stop controlling Dong and our marriage.
Then, it was the desire to just follow Dong and make him the leader of our marriage.
Before I knew it, I just came to the point when I blurted out to Dong, even before I could process it or admit it to myself that: "I don't want to lead anymore, honey. Please lead us. I will follow you."
That was the opening the Lord needed for Him to finally break my bondages, that I have been trying so hard to be freed from for 37 years!
I was in tears most of the time. The Lord showed me my numerous sins. It was painful to see! I was so embarrassed and so guilty of the many sins I have committed against my husband, against my family, against my friends, and most of all, against God! It was so shameful, but I just allowed the Lord to show me every.single.last.one. If I were to change, and if the Lord were to dwell in my heart, He had to show them to me and remove every single filthy thing that had been residing in my heart for so long. Nothing should be left. Everything must be thrown away.
It was toxic.
It was rotten.
It was disgusting.
But, when the Lord finally showed me all that I was (prideful, controlling, judgmental, envious, self-righteous... )but which were hidden from me by my own sinful self, I bowed down before Him and asked for His Mercy. I was distraught. I couldn't speak for days.
|April with her husband, Greg :)|
Two weeks into my submission journey, I chanced upon April, The Peaceful Wife's blog, and that cemented it for me. I was on the right track. April and I are now good friends and this blog is even featured every Wednesday on her blog. :) That was a Divine Appointment right there, for us to meet when we did! God is amazing!!! :)
|Taken just yesterday at my daughter's field trip. :) - Jan 28, 2014|
I no longer go into crash diets or extreme exercise. (The type that you just go at it, till you drop!)
I have long since gotten over my eating disorder.
In fact, I enjoy modesty in dressing. :)
I like watching what I eat but that's just about it. Hehe. I do like making myself attractive to my husband's eyes. (He says he loves my current weight and doesn't want me to be thin.) :)
I move around to be active - as in clean the house, do push-ups and crunches - but I don't obsess over body fat percentage and ripped muscles anymore.
I also no longer get into fits of depression. Praise God! I didn't know that was even possible! In fact, I feel most peaceful and joyful now, so much so that I feel that should the Lord take me anytime, I am ready for Him! But of course, I still have Dong and the kids to share my life with, so Lord, please give me a long life and delay my Homecoming. :)
THINGS TO WORK ON:
I still like asking Dong if he finds me attractive. I am blessed to have a husband who is so generous with words. He would always tease me (as in seduce me ;) )and tell me how beautiful and "hot" I am in his eyes, etc.
I still sometimes refuse my husband's advances when I feel bloated or not so pretty at the moment. Dong thinks I am attractive. He has never laid eyes on another woman, so I have to work at stopping the insecurities that still crop up every now and then. Old bad habits do die hard!
WORK IN PROGRESS:
I am forever grateful to the Lord for opening up my spiritual eyes. (I couldn't do that myself, even with toothpicks on either ends!) I am forever repentant for my mountains of sins. I am not perfect now, and will never be... but the Lord has given me His Strength to overcome temptations and overcome old habits.
They say, you cannot teach an old dog new tricks... Hmmmm, maybe. But those are dogs.
Last time I checked, I am still human. ;)
|Former Cast of Good Morning Pilipinas in PTV 4, all touched by God's Grace, all serving God -- Reunion Jan 18, 2014|
And the Lord changes hearts. He will teach the humble. He will transform the repentant. He will give any sinner His Salvation. All we have to do is ask. :)
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
My next spiritual bondage is MY FREAKY OBSESSION WITH MY FATHER'S APPROVAL.
...To be continued.
May we all be richly blessed! :)