EEW Magazine column in January 2011. I pray it's a blessing to someone.
While many have embraced the fresh start a new year brings, there are many who are yet hurting. Although some were able to let go of the pain of their past as the clock struck midnight, there are those who are still held hostage by guilt and shame.
I was once a prisoner of my pain, guilt, and shame. Year after year, instead of finding my way of escape, I fell deeper and deeper into the bondage of my hurt.
It shackled me. It crippled me. It consumed me.
I was a hurting woman, and I believed that was all I’d ever be. From the pain of molestation, to the guilt of sexual immorality, and the shame of using alcohol as a coping mechanism, I turned inward, and was well on my way to self-destruction. There was a part of me that wanted to be free from the past, but that part of me was buried so far beneath all of my deeply rooted pain that I could not hear its faint plea for help.
I wanted to be whole, but I only knew how to hurt. So I subconsciously chose to stick with what had become familiar to me. Oftentimes, we allow ourselves to get stuck in one area in our lives simply because we grow accustomed to being comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Though scripture tells us to be content in whatever state we are in, it does not instruct us to ever become complacent. Complacency is a handicap.
Just because you’ve experienced hardship for the majority of your life, does not mean you’re supposed to stay there for the remainder of your life. God only has you where you currently are for a reason and a season.
There are so many hurting women, bound by the remnants of the past and plagued by the pain of the present, who feel that all they’ll ever know is hurt. This week, I simply want to offer hope for hurting women.
Whatever you’ve been through, whatever you’re going through – whether it’s rape, divorce, abandonment, sexual immorality, molestation, abortion, substance abuse, past criminal history – whatever the case may be, you are more than your hurt. You no longer have to be held prisoner to the guilt of your past. Neither do you have to succumb to the lies of the enemy that says you will never be more than a woman filled with shame and pain.
God wants to turn your pain into purpose. He wants to reveal the beautiful jewel on the inside of you, and help you to realize your priceless value to the Kingdom. You are the daughter of a King; that alone makes you royalty. He desires for you to open your eyes to embrace the undeniable beauty you possess in Him.
It is not God’s pleasure to see His children suffer; that is not His plan for you. He’s only allowed you to experience the things you’ve encountered to prepare you for the ministry He will birth out of your pain.
You will not hurt forever. You can have a fresh start and move forward from your place of pain. Your new beginning does not lie in the date on the calendar, but it lies in the Man that holds your life in the palm of His hand. Your past is over in Christ; accept your freedom so that you may fulfill God’s divine purpose for your life. You are no longer bound; your chains have been broken. It’s time to fly. Christ has come to give you hope.
I want to leave you with one of my favorite scriptures:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11~