Perceptions and Paranoia

Have you ever been hurt?  Rejected?  Lonely?

Ever feel like you are always the last one picked for the team?  The girls who’s just not quite good enough?  The one who is overlooked when everyone else is making plans?

When we experience hurt in life, it is a natural reaction to put up walls- we think that they are walls to protect us.  Walls that will not allow us to be hurt again.

But in reality, these walls end up keeping out the friendships that might help us to rebuild trust.  That ARE genuine, real, authentic.  We can miss out on the very thing that we desire when we get so focused on trying to protect our hearts.

We all have perceptions of the world around us.  They are based on how we have been treated in life, on the experiences that we have had, on the depth of our friendships.

When life has been unkind, these perceptions can turn into paranoia.  We see bad intentions that are not really there.  We imagine that everyone is talking behind our backs.  We think that so and so couldn’t possibly want to be friends with us.

We begin to build up scenarios in our heads or make up “tests” that we want others to pass.  We might try to make others like us or beg them not to leave.

It is so easy to slip into paranoia~ especially when we genuinely care for others.  I saw this quote on pinterest the other day and I think it sums it up well.  “Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much for them.”  Usually, paranoia creeps in for this very reason- it is hard to understand or even believe that someone cares about us if they don’t do what we would do for them.

In these times, we need our “rocks”- our friends who remind us that we are being irrational, that we are loved, that we don’t have to juggle all of the balls that we are trying to keep in the air.

But really, even these rocks will not always be there.  Because we’re all human and at some point we will all fail each other.

So life is hopeless then, right?  We’ve been hurt, we have trust issues, we have faulty perceptions, we get paranoid, our friends fail us.  Repeat.  Lovely!

Fortunately for us, this is not the end of the story!  Because there is One who has come to “heal the brokenhearted” (Psalm 147:3).  One who says, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).   One who wants us to “not lean on our own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).  One who desires for us to “find rest for our souls” (Matthew 11:29).  And the only One who will “never leave you nor forsake you” ( Dueteronomy 31:6).

This is the only way that we can deal with our faulty perceptions and paranoia problems.  It is in seeking truth through prayer.  It is in bringing our petitions to the feet of Jesus.  It is resting in His promises.  It is trusting His power to be at work in us.

And He promises to respond by giving us PEACE!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the PEACE of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6,7 

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