It was 2017 and the day of my 21st birthday when I broke up with my boyfriend of 3 years. It was one of the most terrifying and most difficult conversations of my life. He worked nights so when his shift was over he brought me breakfast. Most mornings we would sit in his car outside my apartment until I needed to get ready for work. This was one of those mornings, except this time I was digging up the courage to tell him why I was so quiet and distant.
The air in the car was thick.
It was so tense and uncomfortable and I wasn’t sure if I should break up with him or just fall off the face of the earth. I figured the latter would be easier. My memory is foggy and I honestly don’t remember much from that day except him yelling at me after I finally found my backbone in the chaos of my emotions. I fumbled for the door handle nearly falling out of his car as I tried to get away as fast as I could. The only thing I could think to do as I ran up the stairs and into my apartment was call my Mom. She couldn’t understand a single word through my painful sobbing. I called-in to work that morning and drove home to be with my family.
I knew I couldn’t be alone in the state of mind that I was in.
The heaviness and finality of my decision rested on my shoulders all weekend. The next few days were filled with regret, tears, sadness, and more tears. I second-guessed myself. I thought for sure that he was the only person out there for me, that no one would love me, and that I would never find someone who would want me because I was damaged goods.
No one wants damaged goods, right?
When you’re at the grocery store, picking out fruits and vegetables you always pick the ones without bruises and scars. You pick the best fruit. You make sure there are no little holes dug by nasty worms and creepy bugs. When boxes of cereal are banged up and crushed on one side, you put them back and choose the perfect box that hasn’t been smashed.
That’s what I thought. However, I look back now and understand just how wrong I was.
I soon realized, since I felt like damaged goods, undesirable and forgotten, I had taken on the form of someone that was not myself. The person that I portrayed myself as was only a role I played in order to please my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend).Someone asked me what my favorite color was and when I began to answer tears started down my cheeks.
It had suddenly dawned on me that my favorite color was not actually my favorite color.
I searched within myself and discovered that all of my favorite things were not authentically mine. I had no idea who I was. This realization was the spark that was necessary to start my journey. I had to learn exactly who I was and understand the value of being who God created me to be. Now you may be expecting me to say that this was the turning point that changed my life forever. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong. I knew then that I had taken on an identity that was not true to who I actually was.
So, I began the journey to self-discovery.
This was the beginning of true healing and deliverance. I knew that something had to change and that something had to break. Deep down I was too afraid to let go of my desire to be in a relationship. I clung so tightly to my dream of being a wife and mother that I was destroying friendships and relationships left and right. I could feel God calling me to restoration but the thought of being alone had its grip on me. I would lay in bed at night and think about what life would be like if I never met anyone and had to spend the rest of my life alone. I did my best to make myself feel better about the possibility of never finding “my person”.
I came up with a pros and cons list:
- There’s no one to force-feed you meds when you’re sick.
- You don’t have to share a bathroom or your favorite snacks.
- You can blare your favorite song at max volume & repeat it 25 times with no complaints.
- There’s no one to force-feed you meds when you’re sick.
- There’s no one to scratch your back in the spot you can’t reach.
- There’s no one to bring you a towel when you forget one in the shower.
Unfortunately, this list did not ease the anxiety of being alone forever. I could literally see myself as a little old lady with a cup of coffee in one hand and 15 cats trailing behind me.
Instead of embracing my time of singleness, I would think of ways to get out of it.
Instead of finding ways to grow and increase in God, I chose the opposite. I tried to create a future for myself. I was so worried about what might be and what I wanted, I missed what God was trying to do in my life.
To say that I was scared would be an understatement.
I was genuinely terrified that I would be alone and that I would never find someone who could handle me and who would appreciate my quirks. There were times that I would walk into the bathroom to prepare for the day and I would begin to cry as I looked at myself in the mirror. I would end up in a ball on the floor because I felt like my life was going nowhere and that I had no purpose. I knew for sure that I was going to be forever alone, work a dead end job, and eat tacos on the couch for the rest of my life. I felt completely worthless, aimless, and like my life had no point.
I wanted God to heal me so I could walk into my future but I was stubborn and unwilling to change.
Not even a year after the last relationship, another began. It started out alright but in the end it nearly destroyed both of us. We were both depressed and angry from past hurts that we hadn’t allowed God to heal us from. The only time we were happy was when we were together so we did our best to never be apart. This was dangerous because we were dependent upon the other person for happiness. There was so much chaos and confusion, not to mention depression, anxiety, and deeply rooted self-esteem issues. Every part of me that was broken and hurting wanted to run away. Every part of me that was angry wanted to leave everything I had ever known and just start over. Forget it all and start new.
During that relationship, I reached the lowest point of my life.
Now if you know me, you know that I am an extremely emotional and sensitive person. Often, things are heightened to astronomical proportions in my head. The things that I was dealing with at that time were things that had almost become tangible to me. The depression and anxiety had taken on a form of their own and I tried everything in my power to escape from it. I thought I could escape through this other person. I look back and I don’t know if I would change anything. It was painful, agonizing. Yet it propelled me into my future. It forced me to open my eyes to the issues I had covered up for so long.
I made a decision in November of 2018 to commit everything to Jesus by living for Him and serving in His kingdom no matter the cost. It was the best decision I could have ever made.
When I made this commitment my devotion was tested; that’s another story for another time. All in all, I was determined to become who God had called me to be. I was reminded of this verse:
“Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (CEV)
My focus changed from, “How can I fix myself so that I can be in a relationship,” to “How can I better myself and grow so that I can do the work of the Kingdom.”
Was it easy? Absolutely not.
Most things that are good only come with hard work and determination. Even though I was tired of trying, I tried one more time. When my focus was no longer on myself, God was able to move in my heart and the healing process began. Instead of dwelling on the overwhelming feelings of depression or anxiety, I would quote scripture. If a thought made its way into my head that was negative or made me feel bad I spoke the Word of God. I did my best to turn to the Bible in my time of need instead of allowing my thoughts and emotions to run rampant. The way I viewed myself slowly began to change.
I did try to heal what was done on my own and that was the problem – I tried to do the healing. I wanted to allow God to move in and do His work and let His love heal the broken aching parts of me but I was hindering His work by my own lying and deceitful thoughts. In the beginning, the enemy lied to me. I didn’t cast those thoughts down and as I began to believe them they became my own thoughts. I spoke them in my head and I truly believed them in my heart. He no longer needed to lie to me. I told myself I was done, damaged goods, broken, ugly, tainted, no one would ever love me, and never could I be used by God.
I allowed my own lies to become a reality in my life.
None of these things were true yet I still believed them. From this point on, my life has never been the same. It was here that the healing process began. I finally understood what love really was and now, daily, I’m learning how to let Jesus love me. I have learned that everything I told myself during that time was a lie. God created me to be a beautiful godly woman with a divine purpose and calling. He designed a plan specifically with me in mind. I now know that I should not be dependent on any man for feelings of acceptance, love, and validation. It is through allowing God to love me that I am able to refute the lies I once told myself.
By the power of the Word of God, I can love myself.
I am not damaged goods but I am a child of God.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12
I am not broken but I am made new in Christ’s love.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17
I am not ugly and tainted but I am God’s beautiful creation.
Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee. Song of Solomon 4:7
I am not unloved but I am loved by the Creator of all things.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:9
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
In a matter of two years, God has fully restored my heart, my mind, and my emotions. Today, I serve as a youth worker in Fusion Youth at Calvary OKC, where I am able to guide, disciple, and mentor students, specifically young girls who struggle with self-worth. I have the privilege of serving as the Drama Director for Calvary, where I am blessed to be able to use my God-given talents to write, direct, and perform skits and plays. The Lord is using me in ways that I never thought possible, all because I allowed him to change and heal me through His word.
If you are struggling with understanding who you are and what your purpose is, I encourage you to stop what you’re doing right now and dive into the Word of God.
THAT is where you will find restoration just like I did.