I've struggled to write lately, like really struggled.
I haven't had any profound moments, and in reality I've been struggling emotionally a lot. So I wanted to sort through the emotional mess that has overcome me before I even attempted putting it into words.
But then today happened. And the profound happened. In the moment I needed it most.
The amount of pain I've experienced as the result of relationships runs deep. It's left me struggling to find my self-worth.
Most people don't understand why my self-esteem is so low, and I struggle to put on a facade of confidence.
Growing up dancing I was always picked apart physically. Told I was too tall, that I needed to lose 20lbs, etc.
In college I experienced the brutal pain of rape, and from that moment forward I struggled to escape the bondage that placed me in.
It was that bondage that led me into the arms of my abusive ex-husband who constantly picked me apart. Forcing me to stand on scale and mocking the numbers that would appear. Telling me that I was unlovable, inadequate, and that I would never find anyone else if I left him. Because no one would ever love me. Telling me I was a terrible wife, and that he would make the rest of my life a living hell if I left him. I put up walls around me to protect myself from the vicious words that he used against me. I tried to detach my emotions just to get through the day.
Once I left him, I battled through the lies of his words that would haunt me daily. I thought I had come so far.
But lately I've realized that I've progressed by simply being more guarded than ever.
If I don't let anyone in, no one can hurt me and his words would never be proven true.
So today, while cleaning my apartment I texted a good friend. Disclosing all of my struggles and trying to make sense why I can't find the self-worth that was stolen from me so many years ago. I know what my issues are, but why can't I fix them? Why can't I convince myself of the lies, and find truth in the person I'm becoming? Why do I protect myself so much, yet only end up hurting myself with the emotional detachment I've grown so accustomed to?
In that moment I set my phone down and decided to take the trash out. Simple, mindless task.
I walk outside and see a young couple walking. I've never seen them before, but they instantly smiled at me and said hello.
Now let me give you some background… My apartment complex isn't the classiest, in reality it's a bit "hood". As I'm pretty sure I've seen drug deals happen late at night.
But I politely said hello back, threw my trash out and proceeded back to my apartment building.
That's when the young couple stopped me and said "Hey! Actually, is there anything we can pray for? We're just walking around praying and wanted to ask you if there's anything you need prayer for?"
My heart instantly stopped. They had no idea the depth of struggles going on in my head in that moment.
It took me a few moments to respond as I stood there in complete shock. And when I finally gathered myself enough to respond I said "Actually, yes there is. I got divorced last year from an abusive marriage and am really struggling to heal from it emotionally. Ironically I was just up in my apartment talking to a friend about it and wondering how I'm ever going to move past the pain of what I've experienced."
They didn't even seem phased by the words coming out of my mouth, and there was no hesitation. They instantly asked if they could pray for me right then and there, in the middle of my sketchy apartment complex's parking lot. I instantly said yes, and they prayed for me. A prayer that encompassed so much more than I had even asked for prayer for. As if they had known my deepest struggles and pain. My mind was blown.
I hugged them, and we parted ways.
Just like that.
It was as if God grabbed me in a dark moment of struggle and used those two complete strangers to intercede for me... when I had no words left to say. Showing His faithfulness, no matter where I'm at. He met me where I was at. He met me in my brokenness, in my pain, in my struggle, in my mistakes and burdens… He met me right there.
As I walked back into my apartment I was overwhelmed with peace. I instantly knew that although I am struggling with the pain of my past and the struggles of the present… that it's all going to be okay. And it's all going to be okay because I'm not in control.
The reality is that I can't do anything to fix my self-worth, my self-esteem… I'm not responsible for fixing myself, He's the one responsible for fixing me. I just have to learn to give up control and stop trying to do everything on my own.
I've been raped, I've been abused, I've been beaten down, and I've been hurt on many different levels. But I'm not defined by the things that other broken and flawed people do to me, I'm defined by the One able to take away all that pain. Because I've made mistakes, I've hurt people, and we are all flawed individuals walking through this broken world. If we depend on each other or ourselves to put our broken pieces back together they will only shatter more. It's all about relinquishing control to the ultimate Healer… and allowing Him to put this broken mess of a person I am back into something beautifully reconstructed.
So while I struggle through finding out how to stop white knuckling my own life, I at least know that He's here… meeting me right where I'm at in my brokenness.