My story is one of great redemption, great loss, and hope of a great future. It’s a messy story, full of brokenness yet still laced in the Father's deep, deep love for me.
The moment I knew he wouldn’t come back is still fresh on my skin. I had pushed too hard this time. I believed in our love more than I believed in the Father. I believed in our love more than I believed that my face was my own. Our love wasn’t just faith and passion, it was earth-shattering magic.
Yet, I was lying on my floor screaming and crying. I couldn’t breathe. I had really lost him. My great love that I had been waiting for, the one I had dreamed of since I was a child, just CHOSE to leave me.
I tried to write my story without bringing my heartbreak into it. But to withhold this story would mean not sharing the greatest turning point in my life. This is the story of how Jesus became my very best and dearest friend, my first thought when I wake, and my very reason for existing.
On the day he left, I lay on the floor and wept, feeling as though my heart had just been torn from my body. I truly believed that I had no reason to go on with my life. To say I was devastated would be a gross understatement. I was shaken to my very core.
This was the worst day of my life and the very best. The day I lost everything was the day I had no choice but to grasp for my Jesus. Desperate for answers, for purpose, for anything but the hurt that left me crying from sun up to sun down, I began to reacquaint myself with Him.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
The lies started when I was young and oh, how deep they went!
“Little girl, no one wants you.”
”Little girl, no one cares for you.”
“You’ll always be everyone’s last choice.”
"Little girl, you are stupid and ugly.”
“Little girl, you will never be happy.”
I was honestly one of the most terrified people you could ever meet. I would never be good enough, I would never amount to anything, I would always struggle, I would always be alone, I would always be “too much” to be truly accepted and truly known. I bought into these lies and I made them my garments. I became consumed with my own self-hate, finding truth and significance in it. The label of “damaged goods” was the crown I proudly wore.
Brokenness, terror, and shame were the names I answered to.
Ashamed because I was damaged.
Ashamed because I had invited men into my life as a momentary distraction.
Ashamed of the deep loss and pain I felt from making myself stay in an abusive relationship. Ashamed because I hated myself for so much more than what that silly man ever did to me.
Ashamed because I knew I was my most terrifying enemy.
I was convinced I was weak; I wasn’t bold or strong or brave. I carried these thoughts in my heart and held them sacred, thinking they made me strong. I thought I was supposed to tough it out and eventually, maybe, I’d stop thinking them. Being functionally depressed, I knew how to manage myself. I knew how to keep my emotions in check and I knew that when I met the right person I wouldn’t feel so much like the garbage I believed myself to be. Sweet girl -- we output what we input.
I never fully walked away from the Lord; I never could. I knew He was real and He loved me. But in my heart, my relationship with the Father was one born out of duty; He was the master and I was His servant. He was kind, fair, and generous, but I was still the servant. I was never fully His, He was never fully mine. After all, I was tarnished and not meant for a King.
Still, despite my low view of myself, I remember so many sweet moments that He showed me Truth. He brought my wayward father back home after an affair and separation from my mother. He saved my baby sister’s life as she underwent life-threatening surgeries as a premature newborn. God’s overwhelming financial provision was obvious, even though I didn’t deserve it. He was ALWAYS present and I couldn’t deny that. In the face of overwhelming proof, my heart knew that I was the servant and He was my master.
Then I entered into this relationship with the man of my dreams. Much to my initial dismay, I fell madly and deeply in love: it was better than the movies! I had spent my whole life missing someone and I knew I had finally found it in him. He was my opposite, yet my kindred spirit. He was MY gift. I constantly thanked the Lord for him. He and I would laugh and joke how we had beaten the odds and found one another; we both felt sad for anyone who never experienced a love like ours.
While we were together, I became very aware of how the emotions I had kept shut down for so very long had no idea what to do with themselves. The lies that had started as soft whispers became monsters yelling in my ears that I couldn’t shut out. So shame stepped in. She came wearing a cloak of self-righteousness and caused me to believe the lie that she was the solution. I was trapped in my own web, a lifetime of small agreements led to a powerful enslavement. I couldn’t run away this time.
I loved feeling - I just couldn’t function in it. So, to be entirely honest, your girl lost her damn mind. I became a miserable person to be with. Empty, needy, and life-draining. I was sucking the joy and life from all I could touch. I began to be paranoid, incredibly insecure, and JEALOUS, something I didn’t think I was capable of! I doubted everything, especially myself. I began to hate and resent myself with a great passion. This made me so incredibly critical of everyone around me, especially that good man. He became my honorary punching bag. He put up with a lot. And I will always be grateful for that horrible day he said goodbye.
You see, in my absence of self-love and just straight up self-kindness I made this man my truth. I had endured an abusive relationship, a loveless relationship and a father who left, but this man made everything okay. I took my brokenness and said, “it’s okay he’s got it.”
I made that man my everything; this strong and bold woman fell to her demise because her eyes had been fixed on herself and on an idol. And, as much love and joy that idol brought me, he could never satisfy my needs, even though I desperately wanted him to. I begged him to. But that wasn’t his job. And that wasn’t mine to ask.
But here’s where it gets good: as I laid on that floor desperate and hopeless, I screamed “JESUS!!!! HELP ME!!!” Quicker than an instant, His love and peace consumed my core. He cloaked me with His deep adoration for me. He wept as I wept. My good and sweet Jesus laid on that floor with me and He said “I’ve always been here; you belong to me.”
That was the best day of my life. My God left the 99 for me. He said, “THAT’S MY GIRL!” That night my heart and mind were healed and, like Paul on his way to Damascus, my name was changed. My eyes were opened and I felt the life flow through my veins. My chains were broken and I had a purpose. My life started after that night.
Bye to a life of lies.
Bye to idols who cannot satisfy.
Bye to the brokenness that haunted my family.
Bye to believing that I deserve less than His best.
It’s been a long road and, for the most part, it’s been quite wonderful. Living in true intimacy with the Father changes you. Now I ache for His presence and for my time with Him. I long to worship Him. My Jesus is my everything.
“With my dying breath”
This is the phrase I have tattooed on my left rib and guys, these words have redeemed my life! It’s a reference to Psalm 146:2 which says “I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.” (NIV) This was my hope, my cry for help; I was so desperate to be desperately in love with Jesus but chose my brokenness and my dysfunctional lifestyle over it, so I got this tattoo - just in case.
Now I can confidently say, with every fiber of my being, that He is indeed my WHOLE LIFE. I am fully His and He is fully mine. My Father. My Savior. I am His precious, anointed, darling daughter. I have a great inheritance and my mind belongs to Him.
How has God changed your life? How has he changed how you see yourself?
We want to hear your story (even if it's still in process) of victory in Christ!