Imagine being able to go back to your own childhood, teenage, and adult years to make minor or major improvements. To avoid specific pitfalls. To fix your painful messes.
I admit, it’s very tempting to want a complete do-over, especially for those of us who had a crummy experience at certain stages of our lives. Perhaps, we would study more in school? Take our special gifts and talents more seriously? Or not let little things worry us?
Yet, as a contemplate my tragic childhood memories filled with divorced parents, relocating to a new state, and being abused (physically, emotionally, & sexually) by a mentally unstable babysitter, I believe it made me who I am today.
The date rape at 15 years old, the lifelong feelings of never being worthy, and the battle wounds of being rejected by my own dad were heartbreaking. It ripped me up. It left me alone, lost, and searching for a deeper meaning in my life.
Even as an adult woman, I had encountered hurtful people and situations, which wrecked me. Sexual assault by my brother-in-law. Victim-shaming by my own family. Christians demanding me to "forgive and forget" as if it were that easy to do. Church hurt that resulted in leaving organized religion where God met me in the dark to grow my faith.
When I ponder the higher purpose of my pain and messy journey, I realize that I was never by myself. For it was God who oftentimes carried me. He comforted me without my even knowing that He was the source of my comfort.
As tears drip down my face while I type this post, I’m humbled to come to this amazing conclusion. Every loss, every injustice, every evil act done to me was done to my Heavenly Father. He bore my pain and suffering.
"In fact, it was our diseases he bore, our pains from which he suffered; yet we regarded him as punished, stricken and afflicted by God." Isaiah 53:4 (CJB)
He personally went ahead of me to walk the dark valleys. He understood torment, rejection, and shame. He willingly suffered, bled, and died on that cross because He loved me beyond my wildest imagination.
Through it all, He’s given me valuable lessons in life. He used my insecurities and weaknesses to give me strength. He gave me hope and courage to not give up no matter how horrific the horrors that I experienced.
He gently wrapped me in His sweet embrace. In the midst of chaos, He gave me peace. Tenderly, He whispered, “My daughter, I have wasted nothing. Not your hurt, frustrations, or tough chapters in your past. It’s molded you into who I designed you to become.”
Today, I’m not sure if you wish you could have a do-over? If you would wipe your slate clean? Or if you wouldn't change anything at all?
I want to encourage you to find something positive for everything negative that happened to you. May you start 2019 with hope and trust that God’s going to work everything out for something good.
You matter. Your life has value. You are enough! Your Heavenly Father has great blessings ahead of you.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
#MeToo #ChurchHurt #FatherWounds #Hope #HealingTrauma #YouAreEnough