Last week, I shared a tiny piece of the complex puzzle of my childhood. It’s really hard to talk about these things publicly. I’ve held countless secrets for so many years because of shame.
But shame does not come from God.
There’s also a fine line on which I’ve danced all these years. This line divides truth and consequences. I’ve been so afraid of what might happen if I started telling the truth, that I chose to suffer in silence.
It is difficult for me to speak my truth today. But I’m slowly beginning to unfold these layers because I know I have a message of hope to share with others that are hurting.
There is a way to make peace with your pain.
Take it to Jesus.
The first step is laying it all at the foot of the cross. He already knows your pain, but you have to get it out and lay it down. Open yourself before Him. It’s going to be unnerving, but it is necessary.
When you’ve emptied your pain before the Lord, you must come to the realization that this pain does not define you—unless you allow it to. I’ve often said many times to people that if anyone has plenty of excuses to not live right and do right, it’s me. But I choose to accept my past, and more importantly accept myself. I’m not flawless, but I am a child of God.
And this is the hardest part. Isn’t it? When pain has clouded your self-perception for so long, you start believing the lies.
You aren’t good enough. Something must be wrong with you. You don’t deserve anything better than this.
Sis, please don’t keep entertaining these lies. They are from the pits of hell.
Forgive those who hurt you.
I have to be honest right now and tell you that forgiveness is a near-daily thing for me. Sometimes I think I’ve finally forgiven, but then something pops up and rips the scab off that old wound and I’m back to hurting again.
I know you’ve probably heard this a million times, but forgiveness is not for them. It’s for you. And the only way for you to make peace with the pain is to find a way to forgive. Sometimes only Jesus can help you reach a point of forgiveness.
You know what? There have been so many times when I’ve looked in the mirror and hated myself. A week rarely goes by when I don’t have some negative thought about myself, for no good reason, other than it was burned into my mind years ago.
And I could beat myself up every day if I wanted to, for not doing more or trying harder. But the truth is, I’m doing all I know to do. Yes, I’ve said some things and done some things in the past that I’m not proud of. But if I want that pain to subside—heal, even—I must be willing to stop and forgive myself…for whatever.