One of the most devastating side effects of abuse is self doubt. Honestly, I struggle to put into words the heartache that physical and emotional and verbal abuse have on a child’s sense of self…and how we carry a longing to know who we are and to be known into adulthood.
All through middle school and high school and college I would routinely stand in front of the mirror and tell myself all the words that had already been spoken over me. I had been so repeatedly degraded I didn’t know another way to talk to myself.
No one loves you. You are hideous and fat and completely incapable of perfection. You don’t deserve friends. If you spend too much time with someone they will see how unlovable you are. So step back. If you were smarter you wouldn’t struggle so much to get A’s. Do you see those cute girls in class, with their make up done and their stylish clothes? Do you see how boys like them? No boy will ever like you, want you. It’s true what you’ve been told…if you want a man to find you attractive, you’ll have to go stand on a street corner.
You guys, I cannot help the tears as I write this.
My heart is fast and my chest is heavy. And I cannot believe all the lies I have been told and from where I have come.
Mostly, I am GRATEFUL beyond expression that Jesus never stopped pursuing me.
It’s true, that the bravest thing you can ever do is change.
And long ago, even before I had the words, I decided to be different. I decided to fight with The God of Angel Armies steadfast beside me. Because we really don’t fight against flesh and blood and air in someone else’s lungs: we are fighting evil.
I have a choice every single day to let darkness define me or to turn my face to the sun and step into Wholeness. One day and one step at a time, I choose Whole…so that One Day I might face my Savior and my healing process will be over and fully complete and that progressive nature of healing that is so bound up in the soil of a broken earth will be bound up no longer…the progression will end. And the healing will become Healed.
Until then, and every step along the way, I will thrive anyway.
I will love my God fiercely.
I will fight to have a passionate and phenomenal marriage.
I will love my kids and pray big things for their life and show them Jesus and encourage them to follow the paths that bring them joy and teach them to work hard and love people and to be generous and humble. And when my own sin spills over onto them, I will be humble and ask for their forgiveness…as I already have a hundred times.
When the time is right, and they are old enough, I will tell them all my story and weep as I say all the things, the things, the things that happened and how I almost lost life to the suffering of it all.
Here it is. The plain and simple and splendid T R U T H : someone might want to hurt you, might even hate you, but GO AND THRIVE ANYWAY.
You have God. And Yahweh is all you need.
There is no shadow on his face. He shows himself brightly and fully and without reservation.
Why does this matter?
Because, in the Bible, whenever people doubt or struggle God often responds by showing himself. Simply looking at God changes your life. Like the moment you fell in love or the second you saw your child…one instant changed you. And one mere glance at God was enough to free a nation. Enough to heal a woman. Enough to change a tax collector. Enough to blind one man who was then healed who then gave himself over to make much of Christ’s name…enough to be used to write words we still try wrapping our souls around two thousand years later.
God is not afraid of your pain. God is not scratching his head wondering how he’s gonna heal you. He’s just waiting for you to look fully.
Dear One, you are seen and loved and worth the blood of the Creator.
Maybe you were hurt, abused, lied to, bruised, traumatized, shamed, degraded…
Go and thrive anyway…