Beauty From Ashes (pt. 2)

Confession…once I decided to let God be the hero of my story, I had an incredibly hard time figuring out what life would look like from that point forward. I had lived life as a victim for so long; I had no concept of what it meant to live otherwise.

Yesterday, I encouraged those who were wrestling with a deep past pain to consider the possibility of a life free of those chains. I knew immediately, I would need to write a follow up.  I don’t want to be another person telling you to pick yourself up and move on with life. I realize it isn’t that easy. There are ideas you hold about yourself that might be based on a lie. There are perceptions of yourself you might not realize are seen from a skewed lens. Let me give you a personal example.

One of the things I grew up believing about myself was that I had invited the pain into my life. If I hadn’t been so outgoing; if I hadn’t dressed so provocative; if I hadn’t been so affectionate; if I hadn’t been so noticeable none of the bad things that happened would have happened. Basically, if I hadn’t been me I wouldn’t have been assaulted.  Let me say first of all, no one has the right to violate your body. NO ONE! There is never a reason to overpower another human being and take their sense of safety, security, and innocence. NEVER!

That being said, that is not what I was told and so I believed that I had the power to make my pain stop. I changed so much about myself that I often had no sense of identity or individuality. I didn’t know who I was for a really long time. I became whatever I perceived would be the safest and least noticeable. I suppressed all God had created me to be and attempted to kill off the parts of me I deemed dangerous. I realize now that was unnecessary. God created me to be all that I am for a purpose. The enemy tried to distract me from discovering my purpose and identity in God and I let him win for too long.

I saw myself differently than God saw me. I saw myself as bad and dangerous. I saw myself as a target for pain. I changed all I could about myself so that I could keep myself safe. I bet you’ve done the same thing. You’ve believed some things about yourself that you are trying to change, even now as you read this post. What lies are you believing about yourself right now? What things are you trying to change about yourself in order to make the pain stop? Did you know you alone can’t make the pain stop? You know I’m right because you’ve tried so many times on your own.

I am an outgoing chick. I love life. I love my family and friends deeply. I am loud and often times, hard to miss. Those are not bad things. Those are not dangerous things. If they are not submitted to God’s will they can be quite annoying and often lead me down dangerous paths. However, my curiosity, my desire to love, and my boisterousness are all a part of who God created me to be. If I kill that off inside of me, I, in essence, tell Him that what He made is bad. He doesn’t make bad things…or people.

God. That’s the answer. God. I’ve included a couple links to resources that have really helped me as I walk in God’s strength to healing. It is an ongoing journey. I’ve still got work to do, but I’m not where I was. Check them out. What have you got to lose?

Letting Go Of Your Past – Josh & Katie Reich

Disgrace & Grace – Mark Driscoll

Breaking Free – Beth Moore

Praying God’s Word – Beth Moore

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