Undeserved

Whether it’s the older catholic ladies outside of a Planned Parenthood holding graphic signs, a seemingly clever bumper sticker that you are forced to look at in traffic, or a disturbing article/ picture on your FB newsfeed, to a certain population, it all feels the same. Gut wrenching. You don’t have to tell me how horrific abortion is or describe it detail by detail. You don’t have to flash images in my face constantly, because I lived it. At one regretful time in my life, I chose it. Continue reading

Jesus became real…

“Jesus became real… When I came to the end of me”

The end of me by Kyle Idleman

Jesus became real… When I looked at where my life was heading and felt like I was all alone, and worthless.

I have wondered many many times “why me?”  Why did I have to deal with the things of my past?  There’s only so much that one person can handle after all, right?

I have heard that 80% of the things you will learn in your life are learned within the first 3 years of your life.  I don’t know this to be an undisputed fact, but it makes a lot of sense.  When you’re born you are assaulted with everything this life has to offer.  Your body learns how to see, and to hear. You learn all your sensory perception. You learn what it’s like to be loved and cared for. You learn pain, and pleasure.  You learn how to eat, and to play.

Some of the first things I learned weren’t pleasant. I learned a completely distorted view of what love is. I was abused as a child, taken away from the situation and then given back. My father was the abuser and my mother was considered neglectful.  By the time I was five I had been in a few different foster homes, some that abused me even further, and one that I loved. When i was five I was placed in the home that would eventually adopt me.

By then I had learned to close myself off from love.  When I finally came to my forever family, I wouldn’t open myself up to be loved by them. To the point where it still effects me today.  I never truly let them into my heart so even though I love my family and now know that they absolutely love me, I don’t have a lifetime worth of loving them and feeling loved in return.  I have years where I felt all alone. Like there was no one that could ever love me. I bought into the lie that I was worthless, so they couldn’t possibly feel what they were telling me. After all isn’t that what my biological parents were supposed to do, love me unconditionally, and look at how they treated me. Like I was disposable. These were lies that played on repeat n my head for years.

I had 5 biological sisters who are all equally scarred by the things we have been through. My oldest sister became a prostitute at 18 and died a few years later because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  When that happened, I blamed myself for not being able to love her like she needed. I felt like it was just another area/person in my life that I had failed.  I spiraled out of control. Started doing drugs, getting wasted every weekend, and throwing myself at guys because that was the only thing that I could seem to do well. One weekend I was out partying started drinking and I’m pretty sure I was drugged. I woke up the next morning half naked and alone on a friends couch. I don’t even remember what really happened. That was how I lost my virginity. The one thing I told myself was mine and only mine to give. I kept partying. It was the only thing I knew. The only time I felt good about myself.  I got really good at putting on a front and pretending everything was fine.

I had lost sight of who I wanted to be, who I could be, and got stuck in the lie that I wasn’t worth anything.  I broke down one night when I found the letters that my sister would write to me from prison.  I could feel God telling me that that was exactly where I was heading. It may have been a different route but I was in a prison all the same. my bars were inside my head but I was so trapped.

Jesus became real…

I started to study out the bible and seek out people who could help me.  Don’t get me wrong, I was still broken, and still caught up in my sin, but my eyes were being opened to a hope. A hope that this didn’t have to be my life.  There was someone who thought I was worth dying for. I began to know Jesus. To see who he wanted me to be. The unconditional love that God had for me and still has.

I am not perfect. I still mess up, a lot.  I now know that the God who loved me then loves me now. He wants me to want him. God has given me friends and family that have helped me through my darkness and people that he has called me to help through their darkness.  I know that what I have been through is not for nothing.  It can be used to help others going through the same thing.

I cling to Gods word and know that he loves me and thinks I am worth something!

Isaiah 43:4-5

 “Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you”

Sarah Coon

My not so unique story

“I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many girls…” Malala Yousafzai

I love this quote. It’s absolutely so true! My story, like Malala’s, is not unique, I don’t share it because it separates me from the masses. I share my story because it is like so many others in this world. 

We all have times when we feel all alone. We feel like our story is unique, that no one would really understand. I have felt like that so many times and in every different stage of my life.  My personal story is worse than some and yet better than most. The one thing it is not, is unique. So many have been through exactly what I have, they have felt the same debilitating feelings I have.  They get stuck on what has happened to them, what they’ve done.  How we live our daily lives depends on what we think about ourselves and our past. 

I have learned, through God and his love for me, to accept my past for what it is, my story. A series of sentences strung together that make a chapter. Each chapter extending the story, adding another piece to the puzzle that is my life. We think that as the story unfolds our true identity is revealed. Showing us who were meant to be and what we are destined to do. I have learned that just isn’t true. The random series of events that happened in my life, don’t define who I am. They effect my decision to accept the identity and the purpose that I already had, from before I was even conceived.  We all have an identity, a personality that makes up who we are. One that only I get to decided the direction of. Daily I get to make the choice, to accept my circumstances and where they leave me, or choose God circumstances. Believing that with Him all my junk, the terrible debilitating things that have happened to me, that I have done, the things that were intended to be harmful, I can use all that for good. My past can have a purpose. With this in mind my past becomes less and less intimidating. 

  

It no longer defines my everyday, but has helped to shape me into who I have needed to be for what God has called me to.  There are so many times that I felt like it was all worthless. That everything I went through only served the purpose of making me miserable. Everyday was “one is me.”  

I would love to tell you that there is a magic solution that changes everything in an instant. There’s not. There is however a God who waits for you to make the decision to use your story to reach out and help those just like you. He is there to support, love, cherish, and carry you through the rough patches. Because no matter where you are, where you’ve been, or will be, God loves you for you. 

Don’t allow your past to hold the power over you and your future.