I grew up in a Christian home, with an amazing family. A family who loves me for my quirks and my mistakes, they choose to see me as who I’m designed to be. To say I’m blessed would be an understatement. The thing about having a great life growing up, it doesn’t mean that I don’t understand what it’s like to be hurt. Maybe my family didn’t hurt me, but unfortunately, I didn’t grow up in a plastic bubble where the terrors and pains of the world couldn’t reach my gentle, little heart.
I said the salvation prayer when I was in second grade, on a Friday, in chapel. I’ll never forget ‘cause my mom freaked out, she was super pumped, and my dad practically did flip fops. I’m pretty sure I got baptized the next week then it was history from there, right? The only problem with this, was I never really lived my life for Christ, sure I went to every youth camp in the southern United States and sang in the worship band, I was even a youth leader, but I was doing it out of religious duty and the thought that I had to preform to gain any approval or love.
When I was in middle school, some not so wonderful stuff happened to me which caused my “heart brain” to be confused about where I found my worth. I never told anybody about what I was going through, not my amazing parents, none of my youth pastors, not even a random person at a gas station. I kept my pain, hurt, and self-loathing deep inside. I was slowly rotting away.
I went all the way through high school dating basically any guy who had limbs and a full set of teeth. I’m pretty sure my family had no idea either. I’m not even kidding. I was really mean and devastatingly hurtful to everyone who came in my path because I was in so much pain. I honestly had no clue what to even do about it. I sought any form of love or worth I could grasp from all of these guys, just because my perspective of who I am was messed up.
I wish I could say my lack of intelligence in the world of romance ended when I graduated high school, but it sure as heck didn’t. I went to college and did the exact same thing. Have you ever heard that phrase, “Keep doing the same thing you’ve always done and expect the same thing you’ve always gotten?” I hope you have, if not, let me just tell you, THAT PHRASE IS 100% TRUE. I expected to suddenly be treated well by the guys I liked, the guys I “hung out” with. I expected everything to be different just because I was 18 and in college, Bible college.
As someone who is about to experience move number 27 of my whole life, let me tell you, a different location won’t change your situation. Going to another place won't make your problems suddenly disappear, it just changes the people who could potentially help you make a bigger mess.
Ok, so, back to the “story.” One night I had a friend over, we were making cupcakes and chatting about dudes [that’s what girls do] then out of this conversation we discover that we’d been dating the same guy. Like, what the heck! This jerk thinks he can date us both at the same time? NOPE. Sorry sucker. This turned into a total John Tucker Must Die moment, then after a few more cupcakes, we decided it wouldn’t be a good idea for fear of getting in trouble or something.
That was the moment that changed my life. That night, in my kitchen, making cupcakes. That was the night that I finally realized what I had been doing was only hurting me.
A few weeks after that fateful night, I applied for an internship with a ministry based in Los Angeles, rededicated myself to The Lord, then picked up my whole life and moved half way across the country. It was terrifying.
That next year was like open-heart surgery. It was one of the most difficult experiences that I’ve ever had in overcoming my own hurt. I had to completely empty myself of the toxic waste that had taken over my heart and let it be wiped clean and restored. It was beautiful.
There’s only one problem, that’s not the end of it. I wish it were that easy, to say I went through one year of restoration and I was completely healed to never suffer from those pains again, but sometimes it takes a few tries.
I thought that I was doing well, I set boundaries, I pray about every move I make and still I find myself sitting on the floor in my closet with mascara running down my cheeks, because I don’t feel good enough. I still don’t feel that I deserve to have someone pursue me, because I’m not good enough. It hurts to feel like no one is interested in your heart, especially when it’s someone who says they have the most beautiful intentions. Always with gold intentions, but the road to hell is lined with them.
As I sit here, writing this, fumbling over my words and questioning if its even ok for me to feel this way, I’m reminded of the song Good, Good Father. [I’m well aware that song got super over played, but it’s still great] There’s a line in it that says, “You tell me that You’re pleased and that I’m never alone;” that simple, little phrase speaks volumes that could shatter the glass ceiling in your soul, if you let it.
God is pleased with you. There is nothing that can diminish your worth if the God of the universe sees you and thinks, “Wow, you’re amazing.” I love the next part because, so often when we feel worthless it’s often based out of loneliness. We sit around and wonder why there are no people to talk to or what’s wrong with us that no one wants to spend time with us, but there God is in heaven saying “you’re not alone.”
He’s calling us to Him, in the depths of our loneliness, because He knows that in Him is where our worth is restored.
I’m reminded of two scriptures, Hosea 2: 14-15 and Song of Solomon 1:4.
“And now, here’s what I’m going to do:
I’m going to start all over again.
I’m taking her back out into the wilderness
where we had our first date, and I’ll court her.
I’ll give her bouquets of roses.
I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.
She’ll respond like she did as a young girl,
those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.”
Song of Solomon 1:4
“Draw me after you; let us run.
The king has brought me into his chambers.”
I’m a sucker for romance and poetry [what a surprise, right? Lol] and this just tears my heart to pieces. It solidifies the truth in returning to God to find who you are in Him. Every moment spent in him, is the opportunity to experience love at its fullest extent.
Your heart deserves to be pursued.
I’m starting over, it’s scary, but nothing that comes easy is worth it.
You are amazing. You are worth it. It’s the middle of the week; we can do this.