Ever wondered how to apply your faith to your life while dealing with ADHD? In this episode, Lacy Estelle shares three practical ways to integrate faith into the challenges of ADHD, offering insights from her personal experiences and how these principles have transformed her life. From the importance of surrendering to God's will, meditating on His word, to the practice of building new behavioral habits, Lacy provides guidance on navigating these struggles from a Christian perspective.
Resources & Links
Why You'll Never Change Who You Are (season 2, episode 19)
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Introducing the Three Things for Integrating Faith and ADHD
[0:00] Hey guys, this is Lacy Estelle with An ADD Woman Podcast, and I'm back and I'm finally ready to talk to you guys about three things you need to be doing to try to integrate all the things I've been teaching you about when it comes to God and your perspective on your struggles and all those different things and how to get a perspective shift.
I mentioned in the previous episodes that I was going to offer some sort of practicality when it came to how you can change your thinking and try to really lean into the Lord when it comes to where your weaknesses are for ADHD and all the other things. and today I'm going to do that.
So I'm going to lay out three things that I have found in my life and my experience with ADHD that have helped me exponentially when it comes to really walking out my faith. So I can't wait to dive in.
Introducing the ADD Woman podcast from a Christian perspective
[1:04] Welcome to an ADD Woman podcast. I'm your host, Lacy Estelle.
This is the podcast where we talk talk about all things to do with ADHD from a Christian woman's perspective.
I'm so glad you're here and I can't wait for you to realize all the amazing things that God is doing in your life.
Embracing Lifelong Struggles and God's Healing Power
[1:25] So on the last episode, I was talking about why you'll never really change who you are.
And I find that it's really important to remember that even though we are born-again Christians, our temperament and the things that we might struggle with, they're probably going to be lifelong.
[1:42] Now, it doesn't mean that God cannot heal you from those things.
I believe that God still does things like that. But a lot of times, or at least an experience that I have seen, where we are weak is where God is hoping to fill in the gap for us.
And by that, I mean, he wants us to lean on him and lean into the understanding that he has in regards to whatever it is that's going on in our lives.
I once read a book that talked about how God could see the beginning and the end.
So when it comes to the timeline of not just our lives, but of the history of the world, for instance, since the beginning of creation.
If we think of it like a parade, and we're either part of the parade or we're possibly spectators of the parade.
But from our perspective in the parade, we can only see our journey, or we can only see the part of the parade that's directly in front of us at the time, right?
And that's all of history marching together other in a straight line, right?
But God, God is the blimp above the parade.
And I wish I remembered which book this came from, right? But this is ADHD Brain 101.
You might remember the important parts of it, but you're not going to remember the details of where it came from.
So, but that was what the author offered as an explanation to better understand God's perspective on everything.
[3:07] God is above the entire parade. He can see the beginning of the parade.
He can see the end of of the parade. He can see all of it.
God's Perspective and the Calming Thought of His Omniscience
[3:14] I find that that is, as I grow older, and not just growing older, but as I grow in my faith, that keeping that at the forefront of my mind is one of the most, how can I explain it?
Calming? Yeah, I'd say it's one of the most calming thoughts that I have because when I remember that God can see it all, I allow myself to recognize I don't need to see it at all.
So that kind of brings us to the first, I would say, practical step in what you need to be doing to apply your faith to your mental health, to your struggles with your ADHD, with your self-doubt, with your mistakes you're making, your daily impulse control, all those things. And the first thing is surrender.
[3:56] Now, surrender probably doesn't come to the forefront of your mind when you think of ADHD.
A lot of times people say, oh, surrender is like what you teach people who have anxiety.
Well, surrender is one of the most important components of walking out your faith in general. It doesn't matter what you're battling.
Surrendering is never going to be a bad thing, I don't think.
Now, maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think it is. Okay, so to give you some background.
First of all, surrendering things does not come natural to us.
I have five children. None of them were born with the ability to surrender anything of their own ever.
They were all born with the innate instinct to hold on to everything that they think is theirs.
Right. And so that is something that we have to teach our children to do.
We teach them to do things like share or to give things up, to confess, to come to us when they're struggling. Okay.
The first time that I was told that I needed to release control, I was in an Al-Anon meeting.
And I've probably shared this story before. I don't remember, but I attended my first Al-Anon meeting when I was 18.
If you're not familiar with what Al-Anon is, it is not Alcoholics Anonymous.
Al-Anon is a separate meeting space for people who are living with or affected by an addict or an alcoholic.
[5:24] And in my case, I was going because my then boyfriend, which is my older children's father, my ex-husband, at that time.
So at that time, my boyfriend was a, he was a very bad alcoholic.
I say was very lightly. He was drinking daily.
And oftentimes he had to continue to drink until he was drunk. And I was pregnant.
So I was really struggling with it. And I had no idea what Al-Anon really was.
I just remember being in school and being taught about all the different support groups and where you go if you need help.
And somehow I remembered, I say me, but let's be real here.
It was God that reminded me. and I showed up to my first meeting and I sat down and I was handed something and I was like, okay.
And they handed it to me and I was like, okay. And it was the 12 steps.
And all I remember was, wait a second, 12 steps. I don't need the 12 steps. I'm an alcoholic.
Why am I being given the 12 steps? I don't get it. I don't understand.
And they passed around a little clipboard.
Building a Support Network in Al-Anon
[6:38] And if you are new, just like if you go to an AA meeting, if you're new, you leave with like everybody's phone number and everybody's name, first name usually.
And it's so that you have accountability, but it's also so that you can start to build a support network of other people who understand what it's like to be in your shoes.
And I sat down and I had really no idea what I was in for.
Al-Anon meetings tend to be a lot smaller than AA meetings because there's just not not as many people who are actively attending groups in an effort to help the addicts that they're with.
Codependency is something that I think most people struggle with at some point in their life, but not everybody wants to get help with it.
Most people continue on their lives assuming that they're right and everybody else is wrong and that they don't have a control problem. them.
And I sat down and everybody went around sort of talking briefly.
And then of course it got to me.
And I thought, I don't know what to say because I had just listened to other people talk and it sounded like they knew what it was like to be in my shoes, but you know, maybe not in an, in as a direct way, you know, and I'm telling you when I say I was pregnant, I was like like eight months pregnant at this meeting.
Surrendering and Seeking Help in Al-Anon
[8:00] And finally I spoke.
[8:03] And I think when I spoke, all that poured out of me was just tears.
And I just sat there crying and I just said, I don't know what to do anymore.
I'm due any day. And all I've wanted was for my child's father brother to just go a day without drinking just like one and he he couldn't and I think what also bothered me was like part of me wanted to this meeting to teach me how to let it not bother me like there's so many people out there that can just deal with you know your their significant other just drinking all the time.
Plus, I was young. And a lot of his friends and family, I was the outcast.
I was the party pooper. I was the wet blanket that was just putting out his fire.
And why couldn't I just accept him for who he was, was what I kept being told. And I kept, refuting that saying this is not who he is you know he's just this is just what he does.
[9:12] And I was conflating the fact that you kind of are what you do so in that first meeting there was a lady that told me she said you will make yourself crazy and you will look like the crazy person trying to control his problem and I said okay well how do I how do I how do I stop and And they said, you have to surrender it. That's the first step.
The first step is recognizing that you have a problem and surrendering it to, in Al-Anon now, they say a higher power.
I think the first step in its actual words are, we admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.
We came to believe, the second step is, we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. And the step number three is we made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.
And then they add at Al-Anon, as we understood him.
[10:11] I don't particularly like that part, that as we understood him.
And if you're a Christian and you're listening to this, you understand probably why. Why?
Because, you know, Al-Anon and AA, all of those used to be Christian-based, and now they have just become, they have an overarching higher power, and I get that.
But ultimately, to me, when you come to believe that a power greater than yourself is the only thing capable of restoring you, the gospel is the only thing that I've seen that can restore in that capacity.
[10:45] So surrender, surrendering your will to God's will and surrender doesn't come naturally.
We want to be little gods. We want to have control.
We want to be in charge. We want to call the shots.
We want the outcome to be the outcome, right?
We want to wake up every day and know that when we walk out the door and we do these things, this, this, and this is going to happen.
And when things don't go that way, we like to know why, why they go that, they don't go the way that they do.
And you have to surrender all of that to God.
And how do you do that is a little more complicated, and I'll have to get into that in another later episode. but ultimately just keep in mind, surrender, surrender, surrender.
You know, I like to think of sometimes when I'm really struggling to surrender something, I like to imagine the throne room of God.
And I literally take whatever it is in my hands, in my arms, and I lay it at his feet.
[11:54] You know, it's, I don't know if spiritually I'm really doing something or not, but I can tell you it feels the weight releases of however heavy whatever that thing is and you guys you have to keep in mind it doesn't have to be some large overbearing thing you don't have to be needing Al-Anon to need to surrender you can need to surrender your your struggle with your teenager you can need to surrender your financial situation you can need to surrender your behavior behavior, or your desire to blurt things out, or your social awkwardness.
You can need to surrender all of those things.
And through that surrender, God will teach you.
He will teach you and he will show you what he's doing when you give it over to him like he's always wanted you to.
The second thing I would say is really meditating on his word.
And meditation is a buzzword these these days, and Eastern meditation and biblical meditation are two totally different things.
Eastern meditation focuses on emptying the mind, and that is not what we actually want to do.
When we empty the mind and we think about it from a biblical standpoint, when we empty the mind, we leave it open and without defense.
[13:13] You empty something, you leave it open for an enemy to come in and attack.
So biblical meditation is actually the opposite of that, where you're actually trying to fill your mind with God's word.
In a very simple aspect, you can choose a very simple verse.
I don't care what it is. And you don't even have to know the whole verse.
Let's say it's Philippians 4.13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
It's short and sweet. You probably could memorize it yourself, but let's say you can't yet. and you can just remember, I can do all things through Christ, all things through Christ, all things through Christ.
[13:48] Meditating on that does not necessarily require breath work at the same time.
You can meditate on that verse throughout your day, come back to it, remember it, bring it up.
When you are struggling with something that day, I can do all things. I can do all things.
One verse that has always resonated with me is Exodus 14, 14.
And that says, the Lord will fight for you. You need only be still.
And I have meditated on that verse for years and I come back to it on a regular basis because I'm the type of person that thinks that I need to take action. I need to do something.
I need to move. I need to say something. A lot of times it's say something because you're listening to my podcast. Duh.
I often think I need to say something. I need to tell that person.
I need to do those things. And meditating on that verse has helped me to remember I need to actually just be still and wait on God to do whatever it is he's going to do, whether that looks the way I want it to look or not.
So that is definitely the second thing.
The third thing, and honestly, I've kind of talked about it here and there with both the the first two is practice.
[15:03] Practicing doing these things on a fairly regular basis requires forethought.
And when you have ADHD, forethought is a hot commodity.
We're impulsive by nature. So the idea of being able to focus for any length of time or being able to, you know, not impulsively interject your ideas into a conversation.
Here's the thing. These are all muscles that we all have, but they're weak.
[15:37] And if you have surrendered these parts of your life over to the Lord, and you are trying to focus on keeping some word of His in the forefront of your mind, then it comes time to practice.
And you have to do this in incremental moments.
You don't wake up one morning and decide, I'm just going to go run a marathon.
Nobody does that. If you do do that, you end up very badly hurt and injured.
And a lot of times you also will probably tell yourself you're never ever going to run another marathon right so you have to start with you know five minutes at a time you want to get something done set a timer for five minutes you work on it for five minutes that's it that's all it takes.
Tracking Productivity: Overcoming Overwhelm
[16:23] And you laser focus on it for five minutes now that might mean you set your phone down you flip it over you set it off to the side you want to become more productive well you have to start Start finding a way to track your productivity in a way that you can visually see it.
But the idea of doing that just sounds so overwhelming. You don't want to do something like that because it's going to take forever just for you to figure out that system.
But you could focus on that for one minute, two minutes.
You could take accountability to write down all the things you accomplished in one day for just two or three minutes.
And in doing so you can visually see what you have practiced for the day what you have gotten done I find that a lot of times with ADHD our biggest problem is our internal record you know we'll say oh yeah I'm gonna do this today or I'm gonna do that today but we one we don't always know how long it's going to take to actually get done two once we do a short of it we forget the other parts of it.
And then we're kind of like, oh, wait, where was I at with that?
What else did I need to do? What else did I need to finish?
[17:33] So trying to help us keep that record outside of ourselves in a way that is visual, that we can see it when we can track it is extremely helpful.
External Record-Keeping for ADHD: Visual Tracking
[17:43] And again, this all comes back to practicing, practicing, practicing.
Practicing you get in another conversation with people and you have to tell yourself oh I want to say something but I'm not going to say anything I'm not going to interject I'm not going to interrupt I'm going to instead stare at their lips and focus intently on what they're trying to say to me and allow my thoughts to come in and go out without the need to insert them in random places and seem rude.
Part of the biggest struggle with ADHD is starting.
We always think that we have to get it all done now. We have to finish it all right now. We have to know how to do it right now.
If we don't try to do it and immediately get it, then we're never going to get it. And that's just not the case.
It requires practice for people like us.
[18:40] And as much as I want to say that that's an easy thing. It's not.
I am probably six years into really recognizing some of the behaviors that a lot of them probably come from ADHD.
Some of them don't. And I'm definitely in the throes still of practicing them and practicing changing those behaviors to things that don't disrupt my life.
Applying Faith in Life: Surrender, Meditation, Practice
[19:08] So those are the things that I would suggest to you when it comes to the practicality side of how do you apply walking out your faith in your life?
What does that look like? It looks like surrender.
It looks like meditation on God's word. And it looks like practicing.
And practice does not make perfect.
Practice makes progress, okay?
Because we are not perfect, but we can continue to progress in our growth, right?
And then it's just a matter of waiting on God. Sometimes we surrender these things and we surrender them and we surrender them and we give them to him and he never really grants us the ability.
It's because he wants to show us something else.
But again, I would say if you're surrendering them, if you're surrendering things over to him, he's going to reveal that to you and then you're going to kind of go, oh, and your perspective is going to shift and you're starting to start to see your mistakes as maybe they're not the worst thing in the world.
Maybe they're just mistakes like everybody else's. We don't know.
[20:10] I'm going to wrap this up now, guys, because, oh my goodness, I can't believe how tired I am.
Wrapping Up and Future Plans
[20:16] So I will talk to you guys really soon.
I have no idea what I'm going to talk about in two weeks. Maybe I'll find somebody I would like to talk to and interview and have them come on the show.
That would be awesome, right? Maybe it's you.
Maybe you're like, hey, I've got something something to say, why don't you send me a message?
Otherwise, I will be talking to you guys really soon. Have a wonderful rest of your week. Bye. Thank you so much for listening.
What would really help me more than anything, if you feel inclined, is please leave me a five-star review wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that's Spotify, Podbean, Apple Podcasts, all the like.
It really helps for the show to show up for other people that maybe they need to hear it. Thanks again for being here. I appreciate you so much.