I once read a book called ‘Captivating’ by Stasi Eldredge.
It talked about the preciousness of a woman’s heart is and become truly captivating and free as a woman of God. One thing that struck me, and that I kept thinking about over and over, is this: the deep hurts and pains you have come from what has happened to you in the past. Say, if your dad, mum or someone you love has said something hurtful to you, those words can still really negatively affect you today.
Maybe you’ve heard the words ‘You’re useless,’ and today you believe that you’re not good enough for anything or anyone, that you shouldn’t even try lest you fail.
Maybe you’ve heard the words ‘You’re ugly,’ and today you believe that you can never be beautiful, that if someone said that to you you believe they are lying. Today you are running to clothes and boys and money for your worth, and you are stopping the light inside of you from shining because you are so self-conscious.
Maybe your parents or someone that you love never spent any time with you and thought you as a waste of space, and today you aren’t confident to be yourself in case you become a burdan to someone too. Today you are asking the question, ‘Aren’t I good enough?’ You think you are not deserving, and settle for second best.
Maybe you’ve been physically abused, and today you are ashamed of the scars. Today you are untrusting of men, you don’t want to marry, and you are a skeptic of ever finding true love. The void that should of been filled by that loving male figure in your life was not, and today you are running to every boy to fill that emptiness.
All these things have happened to me, and even though I still struggle with the weight of these words, I realized that those words only had power because I gave it power. It has taken me a long time to let that truth sink in, and maybe you’re not there yet. Maybe, like me once, you have built walls so high and thick around your heart and promised yourself that you won’t ever let them down because you’ll only get hurt again. You have hidden your true self, the person that God wants you to be, intended you to be and lovingly made you to be. You have put on this fake image because you are afraid that people won’t accept you and love you for who you truly are. Life seems so much easier being someone else than being you, and it’s so much more comforting being alone in the dark that standing naked in the blinding light. But in reality, being set free to be yourself is the only true freedom.
I think this quote by Daniell Koepke says it all:
I know that there are times when you feel like you’re too much. Times when you wonder whether people would be better off without you in their lives. Times when you wonder whether you would be better off if you were someone different. Someone less intrusive. Less sensitive. Less vocal. Someone more acceptable. More tolerable. Someone easier. I understand that it’s so hard to drown out the voice telling you that there’s something wrong with who you are, but I need you to trust that you aren’t too much. I need you to trust that you deserve to be here. You don’t ever have to shrink or disappear for the sake of anyone else. You’re allowed to be immense and loud and open. You’re allowed to be unpalatable and unapologetic and uneasily defined. You’re allowed to use your voice and speak your truth. And more than anything, you’re allowed to take up space. Not despite who you are, but because of it. Because even though you might not always be able to see it, you have so many wonderful things to contribute to this world. Because you exist and therefore, you matter. Even when you’re struggling. Even when you’re difficult. Even when some people find you to be too much — you’re enough and you matter.
I understand how hard it can be to be vulnerable, how risky it can be to put yourself out there in hopes that someone will love and accept you in return. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with people who only lift you higher, who celebrate you and love you for everything you are and everything you’re not – and in that area, I feel incredibly blessed to have those kind of friends. On days when I feel low on myself, however, there is someone who has never failed to uphold me. God has been my constant rock, my constant comforter when I feel weighed down with all the lies the world tries to break me with. He sees right through you too, but He loves you for all the things His beautiful eyes do see. I’d like to think he says this: “I see all your flaws, your corruption, your failures, your past, your hurts, your unfaithfulness, your wordly desires and natures, your longing for sin, your weaknesses, your unloving self, your ungraceful self, your bad hair days and bad skin days, your sick days, your hungover days. I see all your anguish and stubbornness, your foolishness, your pride, your selfishness and greed, your hate, your deepest innermost thoughts, and your unspeakable secrets. I see it all. And despite it all, I love you and want you and desire you. You are mine. You are beautiful to me. I died so you wouldn’t die. Don’t underestimate my love. I love you. I truly do.”
I believe that you can be set free from the chains of hurt and find freedom to be yourself, your true self, through God. It’s hard – so hard. You will fall and you will cry. But I believe you can do it. I believe you’re worth it. More importantly, God believes you are worth it, and that is the only thing that matters.
You don’t need to put on this glittering image, beautiful child of God. Take it off, be yourself, feel true liberation and take up the life that was meant, and is waiting, for you.
You were made for mighty things. And so it is time to start. Not time to argue. Not time to groan or doubt or fear. Not time to make excuses. Not time to shrink away. You say you’ve got tomorrow but don’t you know how fierce and feisty a thing that Time can be?As long as you are standing here, two feet on the ground, you’ve got the graces of a New Beginning in your palms. You can close the doors. You can clean out the closets. You can say goodbye. You can let it go.