I knew this girl who saw herself as alone in the world. She thought there must be a God out there somewhere, but He wasn’t going to be bothered with someone like her. He had bigger things and other, more important people to look after. She was flawed, imperfect and broken in so many ways. Carrying scars that would permanently mark her as lost. What she didn’t know was that those same scars that marked her, would one day open pathways to helping others. I also witnessed this lost girl being found by her Heavenly Father and her life being changed forever.
To fully understand her story, you would need to know a little bit more about her. She had always had a caring heart – one that led her to tend to others before herself. She was an overachiever, always trying to gain acceptance and self-worth from those around her. She was successful in anything worldly she set out to do. She was an accomplished athlete and an honor roll student graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree before she was 20. She was on a career fast track. But then her life was hit sideways. She found herself pregnant at 24, unmarried and unattached. To her credit, she decided she would find a way to raise her daughter and support them both. Accepting her fate, she courageously branched out – raising her new baby while at the same time starting a new business venture on her own. Lots of late nights and sleepless days later, she found herself successful in her venture and a good mother, but the deep rooted marks of guilt and no self-worth were still with her. She wasn’t worth it. The “it” being happy, free, loved, cherished, cared for… she was still lost.
A few years later she found herself deeply tangled in a manipulative and abusive relationship. She truly believed that her inadequacy was the cause of the relationship’s dysfunction. She tried to break free many times, but was never strong enough. He would use heavy guilt combined with various fear tactics to always control her. You see, when you feel you are worth nothing, or at best worthy of punishment and repercussions, that’s exactly what you receive and accept. Her life had turned into a series of painful conversations and insane experiences always ending in tears and often in hiding. She was trapped with an addict who was carrying mental disorders and a history of violence with him. He would tell her that she was the reason he was using and if only she were better he wouldn’t have to.
Deep in a miserable and destructive cycle, she tried everything she could to be “better.” But nothing was ever right – she was never enough. She suffered terrible depression and anxiety. Panic attacks would overcome her when his name appeared on her phone. She knew she had to break free from him, but how? Begging him to leave her and pleading him to let her go – he refused. He would never leave. Desperate, she turned to the only thing she hoped could help her…God. If only she could find a way to become worthy. She started praying, reading, singing. She covered herself in the Word. She posted sticky notes of Scripture verses all around her house. She would walk at all hours of the night listening and singing. Pleading for forgiveness. Begging for help, for she was drowning in a situation that was life threatening.
At one of the lowest points in this girl’s journey, she was threatened to be killed or to do it herself. She stood in the kitchen weeping, singing “Here Now” with her back turned to him as he approached her with a kitchen knife in his hand. His hatred towering over her like the dark shadow of Satan. The fight was real, just as the Pastor had preached, for she had seen evil face-to-face that night. But in that same moment when she saw the blackness of Satan in his eyes, she experienced the power of her Father’s protection and grace. Just when she thought she couldn’t matter less – that she wasn’t worth it – her Heavenly Father came and claimed her. He covered her and brought to her heart a message that would change her life forever. He loved her! She was always worth saving. He had always been with her. Jesus was holding her hand. She was His. She only had to ask.
So you may be asking yourself who this girl is and how I could have such insight into her story. Truth be told – she was me before I was found. I was the lost girl of this story. I thought I was alone and broken beyond repair. What I never expected was to find that my Father was with me, even at my very worst. He lifted me up as a testimony that He is always with each of us. There is no such thing as too broken. Too ugly. Too torn.
The beautiful thing about our Father is the minute you accept Him, everything changes. My life, although still in turmoil, had hope. God sent into my life the right people who could help me in all the ways I needed. I went through intensive Christian therapy. He started healing my heart and the dirty, foggy lenses I saw the world through cleared. A new family was given to me through The Father’s House. Support came in from all around. Now my situation and self-esteem didn’t all get fixed overnight. But by “leaning in” when my life was in pieces, God not only helped to put me back together, but made me a new creation. One better than I could have ever imagined for myself.
As I continue in my life journey I know Jesus is holding my hand. I wear the armor of God. I’m a living testimony that your Father waits for you to turn to Him and ask. Surrender. Lean in. You will be forever different.
God, help me to know Your love. To meet You as my Father. To know You are always with me. You know all my scars and love me just as I am. Broken. Thank You for bringing hope and strength to seek the life that You want for me. A life filled with love. AMEN.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Domestic abuse is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.
If you are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, please consider reaching out for help. There are many resources available including The Father’s House at 760-798-9418. There are always women there who can help and pray with you. Christian counseling, Mitzi Steele with New Growth Counseling comes highly recommended at 760-494-4394, or contact TFH for the names of other qualified counselors in our area. If you are in immediate or eminent danger call 911 or the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.